Do you always leave your dogs at home when you travel because they get anxious when riding a plane? You’ve probably had a bad experience in the past when your dog got nervous on the plane.
Although flying with an anxious dog can be a daunting task, there are ways to calm them down. Besides, your dog will get used to it if you know how to handle its stress.
Here are a few simple tips on how to handle an anxious dog during a flight.
1. Prepare a Familiar Comfort Item for your Dog
This comfort item should be something that your dogs love to play with. It can either be a toy, a pillow, or a blanket that would destress them during your flight.
Your dog needs to have a positive response toward that specific object. A toy that they used to play with for a long time or a recent item that they really like. As the owner, you can easily notice if your dogs like to play with an object. Make sure that you bring this during your flight to ease their anxiety.
2. Always Bring their Chew Toy
One of the best ways for a dog to calm down is by chewing on something. Bring their chew toy with you and it should be accessible at all times. If you noticed that your dog starts to panic or shiver, give it to them immediately.
Avoid bringing chew toys with sounds. The last thing you want is for the toy to disrupt the other passengers. Airlines are also very strict when it comes to pets, especially if they allow small dogs to be placed in the cabin.
3. Stay Close to Your Dogs
Although airlines will require your dogs to be in the crate the whole flight, it doesn’t mean that you can’t reach out to them.
If it’s a long flight, try to reach out to your dogs from time to time. This is a way to tell them that you are there and they are not alone. Their nervousness can be relieved if they know that their owner is just around the corner.
You can also try to put the crate in your lap once in a while. Play with your dogs while they are inside the crate to lessen their anxiety.
4. Ready Some Treats
Always have a small packet of treats during the flight. You already feed your dogs a few hours before the flight so giving them a lot of food while on the plane is not a good idea.
Prepare some treats and give them to them if you noticed that they are starting to panic. However, don’t overfeed them. You’ll have a hard time cleaning them if they suddenly poop on the crate.
5. Stay Calm
There are instances when fur parents get agitated because their dogs start acting weird on the plane. The last thing you want to do is to get angry at your pets while they are scared or nervous.
If you know that your dogs suffer anxiety attacks during flights, you need to prepare yourself at all times. Don’t raise your voice and don’t get agitated. Stay calm and do what you need to do to ease the anxiety of your dogs.
6. Swaddle your Dogs
Dogs are like babies. Traveling in the air put a lot of stress on them, especially if they don’t fly frequently. Swaddling is one of the best ways to keep them calm during a flight.
There are many products that you can try in the market that offers the same calming effect as a weighted anxiety blanket. You can even use a regular scarf if you want. Make sure that you add some of your used clothes along with the scarf as your scent can calm them. A tight dog vest can also be an alternative to a scarf.
Proper Preparation is Key!
Knowing some of the techniques to calm your pets is great in times of emergency. However, the best solution is to prepare your pets a few weeks before your flight. Checking your dog’s health and training them to stay in a confined space can prevent anxiety attacks during flight.
Staying in a pet-friendly hotel after a long flight can also put your dogs at ease. Check out Romingo.com if you want to book the best hotels without paying pet fees.
Familiarize yourself with the different signs of distress in your dogs so you can attend to their needs as soon as possible.
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