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dog travel

Many dogs love to travel, but for some this can be a stressful experience.  Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to help your dog cope with car travel. 

The following video explains signs of travel stress in dogs and what you can do to help reduce travel-related problems:

Signs of travel stress in dogs

Despite 90% of pet owners stating their dog travels well in the car, 10-25% of dogs display behavioral signs of stress in the car, including:

Salivating excessively
Attempting to escape

How to help reduce travel stress


Place an Adaptil® Collar on your dog and/or use the Adaptil Spray in the car (if using the spray, wait 15 minutes before putting the dog in the car to let the alcohol dissipate).


Teach your dog to sit calmly in the car while the car is stationary.


Use treats with quiet praise and calm play to get your dog to associate the car with good things.


Keep sessions short. Allow the dog to become comfortable with the car before proceeding to the next step.


The next step is to encourage the dog to get into the car with the engine running again using treats and praise.


Once your dog is happy and calm in the car, start taking it on short trips, with each successive trip getting progressively longer but always interspersed with shorter ones.


Consider using a safety harness in your car. There are products designed specifically for your pet.


On the day of travel, feed only a light meal (do not limit water).


Keep the vehicle well ventilated, and never leave your dog unattended in the car.

Allow your dog to exercise and toilet every few hours.

For long journeys (more than four to five hours), take this opportunity to re-apply Adaptil Spray.

The use of Adaptil Collar or Adaptil Spray has been clinically proven* to help reduce the dog signs of stress in this process and makes it a positive learning experience, making it quicker and easier for all.

Consider using an Adaptil Collar if the journey is longer than four to five hours and/or the destination is new (e.g., going on vacation, moving, etc.).  The Adaptil Collar releases a constant stream of calming pheromones for 4 weeks. 

*Gaultier E, Pageat P. Effects of a synthetic dog appeasing pheromone on behavior problems during transport.  In Proc 4th Int'l Behavior Meeting Caloundra Australia, Post Graduate Foundation in Veterinary Science, 2003; 33-35.

WE RECOMMEND: Adaptil Spray or Collar

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