Tips for Moving or Traveling with Your Pet
Many of us will be on the go with our pets now that summer is here--taking vacations and trips out of town. Families like move house this time of year since their children are out of school. Cesar Millan, known as The Dog Whisper, recommends the following tips when moving or traveling with your pet. Cesar of course is all about dogs, but many of these suggestions apply to cats and birds as well.
1.) Prepare. Don't make it a last minute "pack-and-let's-go." Your dog will sense your anxiety and tension. Be ready days in advance, so that your dog has a normal experience before he has to get in the car or on the plane.
2.) Don't feed your dog for at least 6 hours before plane travel. Some people recommend 8 or even a full 24 hours. However, make sure your dog has access to water - enough to keep hydrated but not full.
3.) Bring your dog's blankie. Or his favorite stuffed animal, toy, bone--any item which is familiar to your dog and will comfort and relax him.
4.) Use a soothing scent. Instead of using drugs, try reaching your dog through his nose! Lavender is a great scent that can relax the brain. Drugs can make a dog drowsy and may leave him feeling disoriented and uncertain how to establish himself in a new environment.
5.) Go on a long walk. A recently exercised dog will be in a more relaxed state during any long trip.
6.) Take a break. On a long car ride, stop every four hours during the day for your dogs to relieve themselves, move their organs, and learn that they're going to another environment. It is important for a dog to experience the different temperatures, smells, and feelings that come with a new environment. This will help make them feel that they are part of the process of moving to a new area. Once the sun goes down, you can go eight hours non-stop.
7.) Don't leave your dog in the car. Summer temperatures can make a car heat up fast. Add an over-excited dog, and dehydration could be the result.
8.) Go on another walk. Once you arrive at the hotel, ask the staff where there is a nice, safe place to walk around. Then take your dog there for a walk to relax him.
9.) Claim your new space. Now you are ready to go to your hotel room. Enter first. Get the dog to stay where he is. Don't let him wander around or he'll assume control of the situation. While you are unpacking, showering, or making phone calls, he is waiting. The only one who should move in the environment is you--until you are ready, then you initiate activity. It's important that your scent is everywhere before the dog settles in.
10.) Balanced dogs make better travel companions. There is no specific breed or size of dog that naturally travels better than another, but an unstable dog will not make a good travel companion. Always nurture a balanced state of mind in your dog, and you will create a more pleasant traveling experience for both of you!
Our pets thrive on routine. It's not easy when traveling or after a move, but at minimum pets are happiest (and a happy pet means a happy owner!) when we can maintain regular feeding times and walking schedules.
[via Cesar Millan]
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Posted by Molly & Jessie at June 13, 2011 1:36 AM