Whether taking a vacation, relocating or just going for a day trip, most of us experience traveling with our dearly loved pets. For some of our beloved animals traveling doesn’t always bring the same happiness or enjoyment that it does for us. Sometimes a few issues crop up, whether it is carsickness, anxiety or a host of other issues. Often it is suggested that pets are medicated in order to combat these common traveling issues. But rest assured, if you do encounter these hiccups while you are on the road, there are simple natural ways of dealing with them.
Carsickness is one of the most common issues for dogs on long car rides. Fortunately, there is a very simple natural treatment for motion sickness in dogs. The one…the only…ginger. Along with a host of other benefits, ginger is a great soother for digestive upsets in dogs as well as in humans. There are several options for serving up ginger to your dog, with one being a dose of 2-3 drops of ginger root extract 30 minutes prior to the car trip. A favorite for pups is also homemade ginger dog treats, which you can give your dog 30 minutes before the trip as well.
Ginger works well for cats as well, however a small amount sprinkled over their food 30 minutes before the car trip works best. Lavender is a fantastic aromatherapy alternative for treating or preventing car sickness in your pets as well. Simply spray in the car or put a drop of lavender essential oil on your dog/cat’s bedding in the car. Remember however that dogs and cats have a stronger sense of smell than humans and it is easy to overwhelm them with scent. One drop, two at the most, is really all that is needed.
Anxiety is another common issue faced by traveling pets. Regardless of whether your pet is a bird, cat, guinea pig, rabbit or dog, a disruption to their routine and environment can provoke significant anxiety. Birds are often quickly calmed by chamomile, either in drop form or in tea. If using drops the rule is 1-2 drops per 3 ounces of body weight. If using tea, any organic chamomile tea bag is safe. Simply dip the tea bag into hot water a couple of times, let the water cool about 10 minutes, then dip the tea bag in the water a couple of more times. When the tea is cool enough (less than 100 degrees) then pour in the bird’s water bowl. While the effects are not drastic, they are noticeable and immediate.
Rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, hamsters and other small animals respond well to chamomile, comfrey leaf, marjoram, sorrel and basil to relieve anxiety. Simply sprinkling a small amount of the herb over their food or over fresh vegies 30 minutes before traveling will help your little friend have a more enjoyable journey.
Dogs and cats respond well to the effects of chamomile, passionflower, valerian, skullcap and oatstraw. A couple of drops of ONE of these to your dogs food or on a treat can help them relax for traveling. Flower essences can also combat anxiety, with options such as honeysuckle, rock rose, walnut and gorse offering another alternative to naturally taming your dog or cat’s anxiety. Just add 3 drops to your pets water or you can apply the drops to your pets paws or ears for effects that are just as beneficial. Applying to the paws or ears may present the most convenient option while traveling.
A final issue often confronting owner’s of traveling pets is a lack of appetite in your pet. While traveling and throughout the duration of the time away from home it is not uncommon for animals to refuse to eat, typically due to anxiety which can lead to upset stomach. For dogs, sprinkling a small amount of cinnamon over their food or adding a favorite flavor such as a spoonful of peanut butter or some mashed sweet potato can help induce appetite. If only for a couple of days, a loss of appetite is not detrimental, just make sure there is always cold, fresh water available. For cats who refuse to eat, again, a couple of days will not hurt them, but a little catnip added to their food can be an effective incentive.
There are lots of options to help you ensure your pets have as enjoyable a traveling experience as possible. Just remember to consult your veterinarian if your pet has any medical issues or health needs before using herbal remedies.
Only Natural Pet. (2018). Natural remedies for pets. Retrieved from: https://www.onlynaturalpet.com/
Ginger Treats for Your Dog’s Upset Tummy
6 cups whole wheat flour
1½ Tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
¾ c applesauce
¾ c molasses
½ c honey
¼ c vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
To begin, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients in your mixer with a dough hook. Turn it out onto a floured surface and roll it out to ¼ inch thick. Cut it with cookie cutter or simply with a pizza cutter. Place them on cookie sheets and poke each in the center with a fork.
Bake for 8 minutes and turn oven off, keeping oven door closed. Let the treats sit in the oven until hard about 1-2 hours. Store in an airtight container.
May your puppies enjoy!