We all know that travel can be stressful. Whether it’s traffic on your day trip or the anxiety brought about by an overnight stay in a new place, for all its fun, travel can be stressful on us. The same holds true for our dogs. New experiences, new people and new places can create anxiety in your dog.
This post is sponsored by Innovet Pet Products. As always, we only share products that use in our own home with our pets.
When we adopted Barli in March, we planned to slowly introduce him to travel, starting with mini trips to nearby city parks then working up to day trips and finally to overnight trips.
Well, as with so many best laid plans, reality turned out to be quite a bit different.
As our regular readers know, four of John’s relatives live in a nursing home in south Texas so a sudden emergency there meant a four-hour trip–and an overnight stay–just a month after Barli came to live with us.
In the nine months since Barli has been with us, he’s made six trips to the nursing home, not to mention enjoying many overnight stays at the beach, day trips to area lakes, and shopping excursions near home.
Each trip has made him more eager to travel more (Barli jumps in the car before we can get Tiki’s ramp in position), so we know that he’s really enjoying his travel days–and part of that is because we’ve worked hard to reduce his stress and anxiety when traveling.
5 Tips for Reducing Stress in the Car
- Walk or play a vigorous game before getting in the car. If time permits, take a long walk before you head off on your day trip; if time’s short, a game of fetch can help your dog burn off energy so he can better relax in the car.
- Bring the scent of home. Pack a t-shirt that you’ve worn and let your dog sleep on it in the car. The scent of home–and you–is comforting to him in the car.
- Control your own stress. Yes, that driver who just cut you off was in the wrong, but shouting won’t help–and your dog will pick up on your own stress. Take a deep breath and stay quiet.
- Make frequent stops. Even the simplest stops can be fun for your dog. Plan on a stop every two hours to give your dog the chance to potty, stretch his legs, and burn off some anxiety. It’s good for the driver, too!
- Reduce anxiety with hemp oil. We use Innovet’s Hemp Dog Treats and Hemp CBD Capsules for Dogs to help relive Tiki’s arthritis pain but they’re also used by many pet parents to relieve stress and anxiety in their dogs. If you’re not familiar with CBD oil, this contains no THC, the part of the hemp that would provide psychoactive effects–so there’s no “high” from the product. Along with reduction in anxiety, many also report seeing an increase in appetite and mood with their dog’s use of the oil.
5 Tips for Reducing Stress at Your Hotel
- Walk, walk, and walk some more. We walk our dogs as soon as we check in to a hotel. Walking around the hotel property gets Barli and Tiki acclimated, lets us identify the best potty spot, and helps reduce everyone’s stress level. If the weather’s bad (as it was when we evacuated from Hurricane Harvey and spent three days at a hotel with our dogs and cats), walk the halls and take the stairs for additional exercise.
- Turn on the TV. Drown out the sounds of adjacent hotel rooms and people walking in the corridor with the TV. Hang a Do Not Disturb sign on the door to prevent knocks that might trigger barking.
- Stick with your schedule. As best you can, stick with your dog’s typical feeding, potty, dog walk and bedtime schedule.
- Don’t leave your dog alone. Our dogs are never alone in the hotel room; one of us is always with them. While many hotels won’t permits to be left unattended in the room, some do permit crated dogs to remain alone–but that’s no fun and can definitely trigger stress.
- Enjoy treat time. Hey, you’re traveling…enjoy a treat! Barli enjoyed Innovet’s hard hemp treats in Steak and Cheese flavor; they’re also available in Maple Bacon and Berries as well as Salmon and Sweet Potato flavors. Created especially for medium to large dogs like Tiki and Barli (Innovet also offers Soft Hemp Chews for small to medium dogs), these treats are made in the USA.
Innovet’s PurCBD+ products especially for pets are available as crunchy treats, soft chews, oil or capsule (which is an especially easy format for travel and can just be sprinkled on your dog’s food). It does not contain THC, the chemical that would cause a “high” sensation.
Along with travel anxiety, many pet parents turn to Pur CBD+ for other stress inducing situations including:
- vet visits
- grooming appointments
- new pets in the home
- separation anxiety
You’ll find more information about CBD–including a CBD Dosage Calculator–on the Innovet website. Innovet also has a very active CBD for Dogs & Cats, Pet Cancer, Pet Health and More Facebook group!
Innovet’s products are easy for day trips and overnight travel with your dog–but remember that we travel within the US. If you are concerned about the legality of traveling with hemp products, Innovet explains, “When phytocannabidiol is derived from the seeds and stalks of an industrial hemp plant it is legal in all 50 states, just like any other essential oil such as lavender or peppermint.” However, Innovet does not ship hemp products internationally and states on their website: “We will NOT ship ANY hemp products internationally, we will NEVER advise moving ANY hemp products across ANY international borders. That is at your own risk, should you decide to do so.”