Travelling with your pet

Table of Contents


Lots of us love to travel with our pets but DID YOU KNOW?

Look out for these symptoms:

What not to do when your pet is finding the journey difficult:

How you can help your worrying friend:

Whether it's a road trip to the countryside or on a ferry across the channel, our furballs are a part of the family so it only makes sense to bring them along. However, while we may be excited about the adventure ahead, our pets don’t always share the same enthusiasm. Some can find the experience stressful and uncomfortable - does this sound a little too familiar? Check out our tips and tricks for unsettled pets.

Lots of us love to travel with our pets but DID YOU KNOW?

That’s 1 in 4 of dogs in the UK who struggle with travelling!

Look out for these symptoms:

Our fluffy friends might not be able to shout ‘pull the car over’ but there are some key signs your pet isn’t enjoying the ride:

  • Restlessness: If your pet seems unusually restless or can't seem to find a comfortable position, it could be a sign of distress.

  • Excessive Panting: Dogs, in particular, may pant excessively when they're feeling anxious or uncomfortable.

  • Whining or Pacing: Cats and dogs may vocalise their discomfort through whining or pacing back and forth in their carriers or the vehicle.

  • Vomiting or Diarrhoea: Motion sickness is not uncommon in pets, especially during car rides, flights or boat trips. If your pet vomits or has diarrhoea, it could be a sign of stress.

  • Hiding: Some pets may try to hide or burrow into small spaces when they're feeling anxious. This behaviour is their way of seeking safety and security.

What not to do when your pet is finding the journey difficult:

  • Ignore their distress: It's crucial not to dismiss your pet's distress signals. Ignoring their discomfort can exacerbate their anxiety and make the journey even more stressful for them.

  • Force them into unfamiliar situations: If your pet is showing signs of distress, avoid forcing them into unfamiliar situations such as crowded airports or busy rest stops. Instead, try to create a calm and familiar environment for them.

  • Leave them alone for prolonged periods: If you're travelling by air or train, avoid leaving your pet alone in a carrier for a long period of time. This can heighten their anxiety and lead to further distress.

How you can help your worrying friend:

  • Start with baby steps

    If your pet is not accustomed to travelling, start by gradually exposing them to the car or carrier in the weeks leading up to your trip. This can help them become used to the experience and really reduce their anxiety.

  • Don’t forget their favourite toy

    Bring along familiar items such as their blanket, favourite toy, or bedding to give them a sense of security during travel.

  • Calming goodies

    Calming supplements and treats can give that helping hand for your pet to feel more calm, like the Itch Calming Supplement for Cats and Dogs.

  • Moderate and meditate

    Give relaxation techniques a go with your pet, try deep breathing or gentle massage to help them relax during the journey.

  • Regular pit stops

    If you're travelling by car, make frequent stops to allow your pet to stretch their legs, use the bathroom, and get some fresh air. This can help break up the journey and alleviate stress.

  • Help your pet before the journey begins

    Pheromone sprays and diffusers can assist natural calming in your pet, like the Itch Chill Out for Cats to use at home before your trip.

As an extra member of the family, we want our pets to tag along and go on all the wonderful trips with us. It’s only fair then for them to have a comfortable journey and be given any support they may need. There’s no harm in having a pet travel routine - take a leaf out of ‘Airport Dads’ book and be prepared!

Where we got the facts from:

*Hounslow Vets, 2019, Source: 


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