As more pet owners are choosing to take their four-legged friends along with them during travel by car or airplane, giving a dog confinement training may help reduce the stress it may feel while in transit. VCA Animal Hospitals reports that although on a day-to-day basis a dog may easily accompany its owner to run a few errands in the car, traveling for long distance or on an airplane can be a very different experience.
The new form of travel is likely to cause some degree of fear or anxiety in the dog, so teaching it ways to relax prior to takeoff can be key. VCA recommends crate training it as a way to give it a safe haven during the ride.
First, get the animal used to the crate by keeping its dog toys, a soft bed and even a blanket on top of it to create a cozy dark nook. Make sure to only use the area in positive situations so it feels calm there. Never scold the canine and then send it to its crate, as this could send mixed signals to the animal. Once it recognizes the space as its safe spot, you should try to put it in its crate in the car and see how it reacts. If it settles in nicely even as the car moves, then it should be OK during air travel. However, if it paces, pants or seems anxious once the car moves, it may need positive reinforcements like treats, or more time in the car before it is ready to fly.