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How to reduce pet's travel-related stress?

Traveling can be stressful for pets if they haven't been accustomed to being in a carrier well in advance of the trip. Traveling can also be stressful for pets that are sensitive to noise. Read the tips on how to make your pet's journey as comfortable as possible!

Matkustus lemmikin kanssa

Get your pet accustomed to the carrier in advance!

Allow your pet to familiarize itself with the carrier and let it sleep in it at home before taking it outside.


Practice going into the carrier, reward your pet, and keep the initial sessions short. Gradually increase the time spent in the carrier as your pet becomes more comfortable.


Larger dogs (usually weighing over 8kg) may need to travel separately from their owners in the cargo hold of an airplane or sometimes also on a ship. Practice leaving your dog alone in the crate for short periods of time and gradually increase the duration as your dog gets used to the fact that you will return.


Take your pet in the carrier on short trips outside of your home to get it accustomed to the movement of the carrier and the sounds from outside.


Although a carrier is not mandatory for car or train travel in Finland, practice traveling in the carrier if you plan to fly or take a boat trip in the future.


Place a familiar-smelling blanket or toy in the carrier for your pet.


For further guidance, consult animal trainers and veterinarians specializing in animal behavior issues.

Pheromones and nutritional supplements

Pheromone products can help to reduce anxiety experienced by pets and can be obtained from pet supply stores, pharmacies or veterinary clinics. Feliway spray is a good product for cats, Adaptil spray or collar or Pet Remedy spray are examples of products to use for dogs. Spray the product before placing the pet in a carrier to prevent the animal from being startled by the spraying itself!


Additionally, oral supplements can be used. They can be purchased from pet supply stores or pharmacies. For example Calmex can be used for both cats and dogs and can be given for several days before embarking on a trip.

Anxiety-relieving medications

If pheromone products and nutritional supplements are not sufficient enough, you can discuss with a veterinarian about the possibility to use some anxiety-relieving medications during the journey.


Depending on the breed, age, health condition or other medications the pet may be taking, there may be limitations on using these products, so the need should always be assessed on an individual basis.


Anxiety-relieving medications should not be used when the pet is traveling without the owner (for example in the airplane hold cargo).


Examples of medications (under prescription) for cats include for instance gabapentin, Bonqat, and Alprox.


For dogs, prescription oral medications such as Tessie and Alprox, as well as Sileo oral gel can be used.

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