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An increasing number of pet owners are taking their dogs with them when they travel by car or airplane rather than leaving them behind. On a day to day basis, there may be some places where your dog may accompany you, whether you are visiting friends, going to work, or taking the dog to the groomer, veterinarian or doggy day care. On the other hand, it is not always practical to take your dog with you; at these times, you may have to take your pet to a boarding kennel.
Why is confinement training necessary before travel?
If you are about to introduce your dog to an unfamiliar form of travel it is likely to cause some degree of fear or anxiety. By training your dog to be relaxed and comfortable when confined, whether it is in a crate or by means of a seat belt or harness in a car, you can reduce its fear and anxiety. In addition, it will be safer for both you and your dog if the dog has already learned how to be calm and settled in the confinement area.
“If you are about to introduce your dog to an unfamiliar form of travel, it is likely to cause some degree of fear or anxiety.”
Some dogs travel well in the car but others do not. They may salivate, become restless, whine, howl, bark, pace, seek your attention or physical contact (which can be dangerous if you are the driver) and may even vomit, urinate or pass stools. Similarly, plane travel can be extremely stressful for some dogs. You may be able to predict this in advance if you know your dog’s temperament and how it reacts to car travel or being placed in a crate. Even if you expect your dog to handle a plane ride with minimum distress, you cannot be certain how the unfamiliar location, unfamiliar handlers, separation from the owners, pressure and temperature changes, unfamiliar noises, and the presence of other animals may affect your pet. However, what you can predict and control is how your dog reacts to its travel crate.
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