Now that we have reached the summer months, we may be planning a car trip for our dog or cat. Some people may decide to bring their pet on holidays with them and some may decide on putting them in kennels or a cattery. Either way a trip in the car, especially if it doesn’t happen too often, can be quite stressful for our pet so it is best to be prepared. Following are some tips on same from our Dublin Vet Hospitals.

Tips for bringing your pet on Holidays

Tips for bringing your pet on Holidays

Travelling with Dogs:

Travel sickness in dogs can be quite common. A very big cause of this travel sickness is due to fear. You may notice nausea due to the motion sickness in the car but fear is a big factor when travelling.

Signs of fear in dogs include:

• Barking excessively

• Shaking

• Whining

• Urination/defecating

• Panting excessively

It is important to try eliminating or reducing this fear to combat the travel sickness. If you have a young puppy then it is very important to get them used to the car and travelling at an early age and reward them after with treats and playtime. This will start off as just showing them the car and sitting them in the car, followed by treats, to eventually going on short journeys and extending them each time. Treating them and playing with them during and after gives them a good association with the car and makes it a much less scary place. Adaptil is a product that can be used in conjunction with this for older dogs as well as puppies and we have found good success with this product which is available from all our Dublin Vet Hospitals. Alternatively a drug called Cerenia can help especially on longer journeys.


Adaptil is a synthetic copy of the natural comforting pheromone released by a mother dog to reassure her puppies. It is proven to be helpful and reassuring to dogs during stressful situations. As travelling is stressful for any dogs it is ideal in this situation and will result in a much happier pet this summer. Adaptil comes in a spray, plug in diffuser and collar.

An Adaptil collar should be put on your dog two days before travel to give maximum effect. Also try spraying the blankets and carrier to maximise effect. This will reduce the stress of the journey and make it much easier to desensitise your dog to the car.

Also when travelling make sure the car is well ventilated and for long journeys that there are lots of stops for water and toilet breaks. For dogs that tend to get sick tummies during travel avoid feeding a meal near to travelling time but never limit water intake.

Adaptil collars and sprays are great for calming your pet when going into kennels and helping them get used to this strange new place. Try spraying blankets that your pet usually uses and leaving them at the kennels so that they have the comfort of home with them. A diffuser is also great for helping your pet settle back into home after the holidays are over. An Adaptil collar will last for four weeks on your pet and are available from all our Dublin Vet Hospitals.

Travelling with Cats:

Cats, like dogs can also get very stressed during times of travel and changes to their routine. Like dogs try to make their journey a pleasant experience. They should always be put in a cat carrier for any journeys to keep them safe and secure. Try putting some treats and a favourite blanket into this carrier to make it familiar to them. Take time before the journey to get them accustomed to the carrier. Also leave the carrier open at home with a nice cosy blanket and some treats so that they can go in and out. Signs of stress in cats are more subtle that dogs so it may be harder to tell if your cat is stressed.

Signs of stress include:

• Urinating and defecating around the house

• Hiding away

• Lack of appetite

• Over grooming

Feliway can be used to help calm cats during times of stress and is available in all our Dublin Vet hospitals.


Feliway contains a special scent (odourless to people and other animals) that is a replication of the pheromone that cats leave naturally when they are feeling comfortable in their environment. You will notice that they nudge up against yourself and also against furniture in the house. A change in smell such as when you go travelling with your cat to a new place can upset them. Feliway replaces this scent with their familiar smell so that wherever you go it feels more like home to them.

Feliway comes in a diffuser and a spray. Using this spray in the cat carrier and on any blankets during travel will help your cat to relax and be much happier in their new environment. The spray should be used at least 15 minutes before the cat is put into the carrier to have maximum effect. Like the Adaptil it is a great idea to have the plug in diffuser in the house when the cat returns to help them settle back into normal routine. It will ease them back into their return home. These products will result in a much happier pet this summer and help relieve the stress of travelling. If you have any questions about travelling or any of our products our nurses and vets at Anicare would be very happy to help in any way.

For information on location of our hospitals which are all in the North and West Dublin areas please

refer to our website


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