I'm moving with my pets in a couple of months and they'll both have to take the plane. i was wondering whether anyone had any recommendations on how to best prepare them for the trip? Is there anything I can do to make them more comfortable/less nervous. I'm really stressed myself, but there's no other way i can take them. Any recommendations are highly appreciated! Thanks!
Thanks for getting in touch! Plane rides can be very stressful for pets – it already is for some humans, so just imagine you’re a dog or cat and have no idea what’s going on! It’s great that you’re trying to plan for it in advance.
Firstly, I would try to get your pets used to the travel crate they will be in during the plane ride. Leave these travel crates open and freely available in your house, so they can go in and explore whenever they want to. Throw some of their toys, blankets, or treats in there to encourage them to go in. Don’t force them in and don’t close the door behind them for the first few days. Let them get used to it in their own time. You can gradually progress to closing the door and leaving them there for a few seconds, then a few minutes, as time goes on. Always reward good, calm behaviour.
Before the plane ride, make sure you take your pets out for a walk so they can relieve themselves and stretch out their legs. This will make them more comfortable during the plane ride. It might be a good idea not to feed them a few hours before you board, just so they’re not holding it in for too long once you’re travelling.
Finally, when it comes to calming medication, I would speak about the options available with your vet. It’s definitely a good idea to give your pets something – plane rides can be very anxiety-inducing, especially for pets who don’t travel often. Pet CBD is becoming more and more popular, and it’s usually over-the-counter, but you should double-check it’s compatible with your pet’s health before you give them any.
Hope this helps! Best of luck!
Justine Seraphin, BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare
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