We were at a new Home Dog Training client in Dacula earlier this week working with them and their dog, Danny. Danny was very head strong and had issues with listening and obeying rules. We got Danny under control within a few hours and he became a happy member of the family, willing to obey the house rules while showing love and affection to all. Everything with the training was going well and the client had a new question. It appeared that the family, including Danny, was going to Illinois for Thanksgiving to visit relatives. Danny had never been on a long trip and the car was going to be pretty full of family and suit cases. The vet had recommended giving Danny a sedative for the trip and our client was asking us our opinion.
As dog trainers and not veterinarians, Robin and I normally like to direct all topics dealing with medical matters to Veterinarian Hospitals. When it comes to traveling and sedation, the result that most clients want is good behavior. In this matter, we can provide suggestions and direction.
When traveling with your dog, the goal that you are trying to achieve is an uneventful trip with everyone arriving safe and happy at the other end. When it comes to your dog, that means that he will quietly sleep in the back seat and do his duty when you stop for rest stops. If you have several weeks to plan for the trip, proper training and socialization can accomplish this goal. If the trip is within the next few days, veterinarian recommended and provided sedatives may be the only viable solution.
We suggest that you give your dog the suggested dosage a day or two before the trip and observe his reaction. Keep him confined to a small area to simulate the small area he will have when traveling. Nudge him every once in a while to wake him up. This simulates the natural turns and bumps of the trip. Take him out at specific times during the day to go to the bathroom to simulate the rest stops you may have on the road. If he is calm and goes when taken out, you have a pretty good indication that the trip will go well.
If your dog is agitated after the medicine, is too listless to go outside to potty, or becomes sick, call your veterinarian immediately to discuss a different dosage or different medicine. It is far better to catch and plan for a problem before you are on the road. Please remember that the one thing you should never do is to blindly give your dog sedation that you may be taking. Some human medications are poisonous to dogs and may cause death. This is one thing that you do not want to deal with while traveling out of town with a car full of family.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 if you need any dog training help. We are blessed to have been your local dog training experts for over fourteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.