20 December 2008

Tyro's travel anxiety

Having made the decision to spend January and February in Arizona and buying a new van, the plan included driving, rather than flying, and it also meant taking our dogs with us. However, we deliberated leaving Tyro behind with my good friend Joan White. Joan has dogsat Tyro several times. The reason for our indecision is that Tyro is not a good traveller. He wasn't always that way. For the first year of his life, he was fine in a car. Tyro and Sasha always went together in the car for their swims at Luv My K9's. But it was after we lost our Sasha that Tyro began to get anxious in a moving vehicle. He's fine when it's stopped but the motion now upsets him and after about 5 minutes sometimes, he starts to pant.

But two months is a long time to be separated and I knew it would be hard for Joan to give him up when we return. However, traveling for 4 days straight, about 9 hours/day over 2000 miles is a long time for a dog that is anxious. I had to find a solution. Rescue Remedy didn't work for him, nor did a prescription anti nausea medication. I had read in Dogs in Canada magazine about the therapeutic effects of lavender oil. The scent has a calming effect which may aid in relaxation and the reduction of anxiety. Also, lavender can be used to prepare for meditation because it balances mind and body, promoting a sense of stillness, according to Wikipedia. So I experimented with it on short trips. It worked! I couldn't believe it. A couple drops of lavender oil virtually stopped Tyro's panting. But, would it reduce his anxiety enough for 4 days of traveling? More in another post.

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