Charlie Bear here with a question: Anyone traveling sometime soon? With the holidays approaching fast (Halloween — ugh, scary goblins at the door; Thanksgiving — where I might get a piece of turkey under the table from a long-lost Uncle; and Christmas — lots and lots of presents; or whatever holidays you celebrate with your family), many people find themselves wondering what to do with their pets. Well, I’m here to tell you that my Mom and Dad Peep love to take me with them when they can, but that’s not always possible.

Here are some tips from a guy (I think you’ll recognize his name, right?) that has the interests of four-legged beings in mind:

Cesar’s Travel Tips

Prepare. Don’t make it a last minute “pack-and-let’s-go.” Your dog will sense your anxiety and tension. Be ready days in advance, so that your dog has a normal experience before he has to get in the car or on the plane.
Don’t feed your dog for at least 6 hours before plane travel. Some people recommend 8 or even a full 24 hours. However, make sure your dog has access to water – enough to keep hydrated but not full.

Bring your dog’s blankie. Or his favorite stuffed animal, toy, bone–any item which is familiar to your dog and will comfort and relax him.

Use a soothing scent. Instead of using drugs, try reaching your dog through his nose! Lavender is a great scent that can relax the brain. Drugs can make a dog drowsy and may leave him feeling disoriented and uncertain how to establish himself in a new environment.

Go on a long walk. A recently exercised dog will be in a more relaxed state during any long trip.

Take a break. On a long car ride, stop every four hours during the day for your dogs to relieve themselves, move their organs, and learn that they’re going to another environment. It is important for a dog to experience the different temperatures, smells, and feelings that come with a new environment. This will help make them feel that they are part of the process of moving to a new area. Once the sun goes down, you can go eight hours non-stop.

Don’t leave your dog in the car. Summer temperatures can make a car heat up fast. Add an over-excited dog, and dehydration could be the result.

Go on another walk. Once you arrive at the hotel, ask the staff where there is a nice, safe place to walk around. Then take your dog there for a walk to relax him.

Claim your new space. Now you are ready to go to your hotel room. Enter first. Get the dog to stay where he is. Don’t let him wander around or he’ll assume control of the situation. While you are unpacking, showering, or making phone calls, he is waiting. The only one who should move in the environment is you–until you are ready, then you initiate activity. It’s important that your scent is everywhere before the dog settles in.

Balanced dogs make better travel companions. There is no specific breed or size of dog that naturally travels better than another, but an unstable dog will not make a good travel companion. Always nurture a balanced state of mind in your dog, and you will create a more pleasant traveling experience for both of you!

Can’t bring your dog along? Find a good substitute pack. In a kennel, your dog should be immediately adopted as a member of the pack. The staff should be able to get your dog focused on what is there for him – and not leave him mourning over the fact that you left. It is a big deal for a dog to detach himself from a pack. The new pack should equal or better the pack he just left.

* * *

So, what did you think? I like that he said to bring a favorite toy (green squeaky turtle for me). And to go on walks (I like those). My Mom Peep didn’t make me sit and wait at the door when they took me to a hotel recently. Tsk, tsk. She let me in right away and I sniffed everywhere. Shhhh….maybe she won’t read that part. But other than that, I thought Cesar Milan was spot on. What did you think? Do you travel and did this help?

Cesar’s Travel Tips – Brought to you by Charlie Bear

2 thoughts on “Cesar’s Travel Tips – Brought to you by Charlie Bear

  • September 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Great tips!! I love this. Had never heard of using lavender for dogs.

    • September 27, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      Juiie, thanks for the comment. I hadn’t heard of Lavender either!


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