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In the car I have a pad for them to lay on and a blanket for them to get under. They have a small bowl of food. Not much, just a little so they don't get too hungry and have a snack. I also keep pet snacks handy and offer them one every hour or two. They also have two small "non-squeaky" toys to play with, along with one rawhide bone for each dog.
Anytime I stop, I offer them some water, then take them for a walk. Even if I'm only stopping for a minute to run into a ladies' room. They probably have to go too! After I've gone in and done my business, I take them for another short walk to let them relieve themselves one last time before hitting the road again. I also give the cat one last chance at the litter box too.
When it comes to eating on the road, I stick with drive thrus. This way I don't have to leave the pets in the car where they may get over heated or too cold. I save restaurant eating for when I arrive at my destination. This also has 2 more good things to it: I save money over restaurants, and also save time too.
If I will be there for more than 4 days, I set aside one day when I let the desk know, and bring all the pets outside with me for a good long walk while the maids do my room. The cat is brought out in her carrier. It's too easy for a panicked cat to get out of a collar, or get hurt trying, at the sight of a strange or aggressive dog. Should there be a problem with an aggressive dog that is not being handled by its owner, I report it to the front desk at my first opportunity. This has only happened to me twice and both times the desk people took care of the problem immediately.
I've used this system for many years and have never once had a problem. And by using this system, it makes the trip much more pleasant for me and for my beloved pets.
By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC
Thank you for these very valuable tips. I have an adopted cat that is very timid around strangers so we are extremely protective of her sense of security. With a possible trip ahead, I had been concerned about how to make this precious family member as comfortable as possible. Thanks to these ideas - all of which will be used - she should be all set.
You can calm most cats or dogs before taking them to the vet or on a trip in a car, train or plane with a safe and simple homeopathic-type remedy called "Rescue Remedy". It's available in health food stores (for people, but pets can also use it). Many pet stores and vets sell an alcohol-free formula made just for pets. My mother's vet recommended she give it to her sick cat before giving him his daily IV. He also said it works great for pets that are going on trips or any stressful situation, like introducing another pet into the home, or if your pet hates being left alone. You simply give your pet several drops of this remedy. The directions are on the back. Rescue Remedy has no side effects and really works! I've seen the results myself.
I also really like Rescue Remedy. It's nice to have on hand all the time for stressful situations. And it does work well for pets too (just make sure to give a smaller dose if it's a small pet). I've also found it online at seacoastvitamins.com for a really good price. That's where I get all my supplements now.
I travel quite a bit with my little Doxie and like to have her "stuff" handy. She needs several things through the day so we now have a "Penny bag" for Penny's stuff. This bag is just a cloth tote that can be washed in the washer.
I have a rather large cat called Mr. Smith. He completely refuses to get into anything smaller to travel in, so we have a small dog cage. He has grandiose ideas!
It just isn't safe for your dog or cat to be roaming all over the car while you are trying to drive. My German Shepherd/Husky mix used to always knock the car out of gear while he was switching from the front seat to the back seat - not good!
We were traveling on a busy road in our RV, when we saw another RV ahead of us pull to the side of the road. We slowed, but as we approached the back of the other RV, the people opened the side door.
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I have a 4 year old rescue Shitz Tzu, she was raised solely in a crate, pretty much 24/7. She was well groomed. But here's the problem, I've had her now for almost 3 years and can't travel with her. She can ride in the car to the park which is 2 blocks away, but she freaks out going to to the groomer's, only 1 mile away. We've been taking her there since we got her, so she knows the way there. I'm driving to California every 6 months and can't keep her here any more she becomes so stressed out and scared she get the runs. I want to take her with us when we go out of state. Please help. I don't want to do doggie downers. Thanks.
By Liz P
When my dogs were pups and they would go traveling with us, I would hold them or keep them very close to me while my husband drove. We also stopped at literally every rest stop we came across and it gave us and them a break to walk around and go potty. They both outgrew their nervousness and now they enjoy riding in the car cause they both have their own car seats.
Do not let your dog look out the side windows on the car. This will make anybody sick cause they are trying to focus on objects that are moving and this is what causes motion sickness. Try to keep his eyes focused on the front window.
Try Benadryl to calm your dog.
Maybe she just doesn't like going to the groomers. Maybe it just makes her nervous; maybe something happened at the groomers. Maybe being around other dogs at the grooming salon makes her nervous. My dog used to be nervous around other dogs until he became socialized. This is a lot of maybes but just because she's nervous while heading to be groomed may not mean she'd be nervous riding in the car on longer trips. I'd take more frequent trips around town before heading out to California and see if that makes a difference. I don't think it's hopeless.
I use Synergy labs Richard's Organics brand. They make a bottle with a dropper of 'calming liquid' for dogs, that doesn't make my dog sleepy, but helps wonders!
He gets so nervous when he feels thunder coming our way.
What can I give small Shih Tzu as a tranquilizer before a long car trip?
By Alma B
The antihistamine Benadryl makes dogs sleepy, that might help. My vet gave me a sedative for my dog during stressful times like fireworks called alprazolam that really put him to sleep for several hours, but that's a last resort choice.
Try giving the dog plenty of exercise to tire it out before travelling and doing the same when you stop for breaks. People are usually so busy getting the car loaded they don't think about exercising the dog.
Is it OK to take your cat with you in the car on vacation?
By Kim S.