Taking Your Dog on a Road Trip
If you’re going on a road trip with your dog, then you’ll want your canine companion to be a happy traveller and not feeling dog ‘ruff’ on the journey!!
Travel sickness is something many dogs suffer from for a variety of reasons: it can be something as simple as having food to close to departure time only to see it ‘return’ soon afterwards (Yuk!), or it can be down to some level of anxiety.
First things first though
It's SO important that your canine friend is properly and safely harnessed, or caged when traveling in your car.
For safety reasons they must not be allowed to freely trot about the car or lie in their dog bed unsecured. Not only could they distract you whilst driving ... you need to also consider that even though a little dog only weighs a few pounds should you have to brake hard your dog will be catapulted through the air and could hit you hard at speed, or worse still be throw out of the car.
Please do make sure your dog is safely secured on any car journey.
Puppies suffer more from ‘motion sickness’ than older dogs likely because their ears are not fully developed and so the ‘motion’ of the car affects their inner-ear and makes them feel unbalanced. Panic sets in because they can’t control the feeling of nausea and the end result is usually…unpleasant (see YUK above! )
Motion sickness in older dogs is generally because they associate the motion of a car with being sick, and this can relate back to that first ‘sickly’ car journey as a puppy.
After that first bad experience, every car journey is set to make them anxious and sick.
Unsurprisingly…that’s exactly what happens.
Fear of the unknown is how a dog can see their first car journey so there’s good reason to make that first time a relaxed and panic-free experience.
You can plan ahead and introduce your dog to the car several days, maybe weeks, before you plan to take them on a journey: let them sniff around the seats and take in the safe environment and then sit with you while the car is still motionless on the drive.
After two or three ‘visits’ like this to the car maybe start the engine next time so they have heard that noise while feeling safe and secure in their doggy seatbelt with you beside them.
If all goes well, try a short journey next time – just around the block, nothing ambitious. If your dog gets anxious then go home, abandon the session and go back a stage the next day.
Slowly but surely you will reassure your dog that the car is safe and there’s no need to panic or be anxious.
Rescue with Reiki
Rescue dogs are a story on four-legs and sometimes that story unfolds bit-by-bit and most noticeably when they happen to meet the triggers that unlock anxieties from their past.
The gentle healing therapy of Reiki can certainly help.
As a Reiki Master Teacher, I've helped several rescue dogs who have been diagnosed with motion sickness and used Reiki to successfully calm their anxiety.
It’s horrid to see any dog shake and panic just because they are in a car but then you have to think how they may have started in life and wonder how scary being in a car, maybe for the first time, can be.
I’m reminded of a dog I helped a few years ago who wasn’t actually sick in the car but salivated profusely...
... And I mean…it was everywhere: slopped all down the windows and gathered in the door pockets next to where the dog was sitting. It was a bit of a gooey mess!
It was gross really but I had SO much empathy for the dog.
Let's be realistic ... we do have to take journeys and we can't always leave our dogs behind can we? But, and it's a big BUT we certainly hate seeing our dogs in distress.
This particular dog's owner was keen to calm her dog so they could enjoy car journeys together and that the little dog could enjoy a new life without any fears or anxiety from the past.
We started by sitting in the car and I gave the dog some hands on Reiki for about ten minutes …we repeated this three or four times and then with the engine running.
All the time the dog was receiving hands-on Reiki to calm her down.
When we tried a short journey there was a little bit of dribbling but that eventually stopped. Wonderful!
It was amazing to see the dog finally enjoy trips out in the car – at last!
So, if you have access to someone trained in Reiki may I suggest asking them to help you in the same way.
However, in my example above I went on to train this little dog's owner so that now she can offer some gentle Reiki healing to her dog whenever she wanted.
This has helped to calm the dog all-round and so her life has become free of stress and anxiety in every way.
What a lovely way to bond with your dog! I really do love my job!
Motion sickness is a dog and owner’s worst nightmare, but it can be headed-off with a little pre-planning and practice runs, as I've described above.
How to share Reiki with your dog
Becoming attuned to practice Reiki is simply achieved under the direction of a Reiki Master, just like me.
After that, the ability to give hands-on Reiki can begin and it’s a gift that will last a lifetime.
To help those who want to want to take-up Reiki to help their pet, I have developed an easy Home Learning package with me as study-buddy.
On completion, you will receive an accredited Reiki Qualification with two certificates, plus the skills to give hands-on Reiki to people, including yourself, as well as, of course, to help your dogs too.
Check it out if you like at Reiki for Dogs
Happy road trip all round!