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To the Rescue: Pets' Travel Prep

To the Rescue: Pets' Travel Prep

Getting pets trip-ready should start long before you leave home! First up, let your pet become accustomed to his carrier. If he's already a frequent flier, or will be using the same crate from home, your pal should be used to the sights, sounds, and smells of this case. For noncrate-trained animals, those traveling in a different or rarely-used carrier (only for the vet), it's important to give your pet a chance to prep. To get started,


  • Get your pet set by placing the carrier out about a week before you are leaving.
  • Place some food (or his dish) inside the carrier so your animal ventures inside. Leave the door open but praise your pet warmly for entering.
  • Show your pet a favorite toy, and then walk and place it inside the carrier so he goes in to get it. Repeat that praise!
  • If you're traveling by car, take test runs — short trips around town — in the carrier to get him used to it. This can help determine if he suffers from motion sickness so you can get a prescription for antinausea medications from your vet.
  • Consider adding natural, soothing aromatherapy sprays or pheromone products to help relax your pets like those seen in the widget below.
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mlmoreno47 mlmoreno47 8 years
Tootsie never actually throws up in the car but she does this weird hacking cough and dry heave thing! I think it's cause she can't see out the window.
Cole Cole 8 years
Regarding dogs getting motion sick/car sick, ask you vet about dramamine. Duncan, my Boykin Spaniel, gets car sick after about 20 minutes in the car, and our vet recommended dramamine, she just had to look up the dosage for his weight. It works wonderfully; we have had no barf in our car since we started giving it to him for trips, and you don't need a prescription. Just make sure you ask your vet about the dosage.
Home Home 8 years
When Ozzie used to get freaked out I would give her D.A.P. and it really helped. Bach's Rescue Remedy and Valerian capsules also help to calm her down. Thanks for reminding me about D.A.P.!
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I recommend doing the crate thing more than a week in advance if it's something totally new. We did it for 2 weeks with B-Bop and he was still a little freaked out. I wish taking an animal on a plan was cheaper. Sometimes it's more expensive for Bop to fly than me!!
cubadog cubadog 8 years
D.A.P. and Rescue Remedy are great. My holistic vet recommended both when Cuba was going through seperation anxiety when I started to not work from home.
t-and-co t-and-co 8 years
Phase, we normally carry Bailey on when we travel, but I'm sure Brando will be fine! :) They take really good care of them up until they're boarded. We had Bailey shipped to us from a breeder when he was a puppy and he did just fine. On a side note, I think I might have to try a few of these out. Bailey gets really nervous in the car and during storms. I hope these help.
wren1 wren1 8 years
I love D.A.P. products. My dog can be anxious, and they really seem to help the little guy! I use the plug in when I leave him home alone, and I spray his carrier before a flight.
Phasekitty Phasekitty 8 years
Pet- thanks so much for these tips! Little Brando is going on his first plane in a week and we put his new carrier out yesterday. He loves his wire crate, but it's not airline approved. Hopefully he'll get used to his new crate and be comfortable, but so far he hasn't ventured in much except to get the treats out that I put in there. I'm worrying myself sick about him and if he'll be okay under the plane on Saturday. If anyone has ever flown with a pup before I'd love to hear stories and tips!
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