Friday, 18 July 2014

Tips For Traveling Safely With Pets

What To Pack - The Basics 

  • Bags (poop bags)
  • Bed and/or blanket
  • Bowls for food and water
  • Collar, considering bringing an extra
  • Leash, considering bringing an extra
  • Harness if using one
  • Crate / Kennel if using one
  • Grooming supplies
  • Medicines/supplements if applicable
  • Food / treats, especially if your dog has a sensitive digestive system that is  adversely effected by sudden changes in diet
  • Toy if your dog enjoys having one or two
  • Towels
  • Water bottle
  • Water for traveling in the car
  • Your dog’s papers (medical, vaccination records, ownership) - particularly important if you are crossing an international border
  • First Aid Kit

Emergency Preparedness - Health and Safety Basics

First Aid Kit
For instructions on how to make your own amazing all-natural first aid kit Go Here >>

Emergency Health Care - Know Where to Go
Consider looking up and writing down the contact information and hours of operation of some veterinarian offices or alternate and complementary medicine health care providers along your travel route and near where you will be staying.  This can save valuable time in an emergency situation.

How to Help an Anxious Dog Travel Comfortably

The Psychology of Travel Anxiety
When it comes to communication dogs are very insightful - if you expect your dog to get anxious you are actually directing your dog to be anxious. Vehicle anxiety is a psychological state that results in one or more of the following physical symptoms - barking, panting, whining, inability to ‘settle down’, wanting to hide or escape etc. Solving the issue is best accomplished by addressing and resolving the all elements that contribute to the anxious state, including:
  • The psychological state (human and canine)
  • The physical state (human and canine)
  • Food, diet, nutrition (canine)

Herbals for Travel Anxiety
In addition to providing appropriate psychological and physical support you can also purchase a holistic herbal or homeopathic tincture / tonic to help reduce your dog’s stress. 

There are many good quality herbal tinctures, tonics, homeopathic remedies that can be purchased on-line or from a good-quality pet store or natural health store. Be careful to check the ingredients list. Many products including those made for pets contain alcohol, toxic fillers, and slipping agents, artificial sweeteners, and other inappropriate ingredients.  Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and dosage carefully.

If your dog has allergies or any health medical conditions please makes sure you check all herbals and homeopathic remedies for interactions and cautions related to your dog’s condition and medications prior to use.

Motion Sickness
Some dogs experience motion sickness - another condition that can be cured when addressed properly and with patience. You can read more on treating motion sickness here. Herbs such as ginger, anise or peppermint are good choices for treating nausea.  And do not feed your dog for at least an hour before vehicle travel, but do not restrict water intake. An empty stomach (no food, water is fine) helps to avoid the onset of nausea.

Food, Nutrition, Diet and Travel Anxiety
Diet matters.  Dogs, just like people have more serotonin in their gut than in their brain. A dog ‘food’ (i.e. processed commercial dry or wet food) that contains grains, chemical based preservatives, artificial food colouring, artificial flavours, poor sourced protein, and other toxins definitely contributes to increased levels of anxiety. If your dog is anxious - proper attention to creating a truly supportive diet is important to supporting an over-all cure.

When this type of behaviour is addressed properly vehicle anxiety and motion sickness can be resolved.

I am Lost - I am Found

Make sure that you have a better chance of recovering your dog if he/she wanders off. Even a well trained dog can end up lost when the unexpected occurs...
  • If your dog does have ID tags:
    • Check to make sure the ring that holds the tag on the collar is secure
    • Make sure all information on the tag is current
  • If your dog does not have an ID Tag:
    • Make sure you get one - even if your dog is micro chipped -the person that finds your dog may not know about microchips or have access to a facility that scans for chips
    • Include the following on the tag
      • Dog’s name (essential)
      • Your phone number (essential)
      • Your name (optional)
      • Your address (optional)
  • Make sure you always have available a recent photo of your dog 

Car Travel Safety

For important tips of car travel safety with your dog - guidance on what's best, the front seat or back seat; options for making sure your dog is not injured during a sudden emergency stop;  the right way to use a crate in the car if you need to do so and other life saving do's and don'ts Go Here >>

...and last but not least, have a good trip!

Holistic Wellness and Behaviorist Services

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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld


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Important Note

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

2.0 Definition of Holistic…

Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press


"relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

"Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

4.0 Leave a Comment

I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen Rosenfeld
Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats