As the January blues settle in and the weather gets wetter our minds turn to travel. Maybe one of your resolutions is to travel more this year, and who better to join you on your adventures than your canine companion.
Taking your dog travelling with you is a great idea but there are a few important things to remember when taking your pet pooch somewhere new.
As part of their ongoing “Happy Dogs, Happy Days” campaign, Lintbells, manufacturers of premium pet supplement YuCALM Dog, works with dog behavioural expert Dr. Emily Blackwell to offer owners some helpful tips and advice on how to keep their dogs happy and calm when visiting new places this year.
Dr Blackwell said: “The new year is a time for planning for lots of people. Whether your plans for 2018 involve moving house, going on a holiday or a day trip, or visiting friends and family a change in environment or routine can be stressful for some dogs. However there are a number of helpful tips you can do to help your dog settle in to somewhere new.
“Wherever you and your pooch are heading to in 2018 take their own bed, blanket and toys and anything else that may contain a familiar scent, this will help to create a consistent environment and will be reassuring to your dog.
“It is also important to pack enough of your dog’s routine medication or supplements to last the whole trip, along with their usual food. And try to stick to their usual feeding times.
“Before setting off to explore somewhere new make sure you check out potential dog walking places on the way and in the area of your destination - it is important your dog still gets regular exercise while you are away. Also ensure your dog is wearing a tag with up-to-date contact details, in case they run off and are in an unfamiliar place.
“Try to always allow your dog time to settle in and start with very brief separations, as they may find it distressing being left alone somewhere new. Also remember that your dog may encounter lots of things they may have not seen before, such as babies, livestock, traffic noises and this could cause stress. Try and gradually introduce them to these things, from a distance and associate them with something nice by rewarding them.
“If your dog tends to be unsettled in new places you could consider using a natural calming supplement to help them relax more quickly in their new surroundings.”