Vet Care for Dogs, Cats and Many Other Animals

Your Pet's Travel Anxiety May Be Connected To Their Vet Fears

by Calvin Newman

You occasionally take your pet on rides with you in the car, and mostly, they enjoy it. However, there are a few times when they start panicking and you can't seem to figure out what is happening. These travel-based panic attacks can be scary for both you and your dog and are often hard to figure out. 

Panic attacks during travel may be triggered by a multitude of issues. For example, your pup may simply be excited to be on the road but anxious to get to a new destination. As a result, their anxiety gets too high and they start to panic. They may howl, whine, chew on your car seats, or otherwise behave in a destructive manner. These attacks may be dangerous if your pup gets too excited and distracts you while you're driving.

However, another reason that dogs may feel panic during trips is their association with travel and going to the vet's office. Most canines don't enjoy their trips to the vet and often experience high anxiety during their trips. Driving past a building that looks like the vet's office — or even past the office without realizing it — may trigger a panic attack that can put your dog in a tough spot.

As a result, veterinarians suggest that you practice a variety of relaxation techniques when you're in the car with your pup. For example, you can play classical music — which has been shown to lower dog's anxiety — or use other relaxation methods, such as regular brushing, petting, and even pheromones for your pup. These tactics help to relax their mind and make travel easier and may minimize their panic attacks.

Just as importantly, you must teach your dog how to calm down when they go to the vet. For example, you can talk to their practitioner about interaction outside of the veterinarian's office or even home visits from the vet. Placing the doctor in an environment which is calming may help your dog's anxiety and make visiting the vet a little bit easier.

Before implementing any of these tactics, though, make sure that you contact your vet about these dog care methods. They can help you better understand how to use them with your pup and the best way to improve your dog's travel anxiety. Some might be able to provide you with calming treatments, such as various types of anti-anxiety medications, that can soothe your pup's mind.