If you have pets and love travelling as much as we do, there's NO WAY we're going to leave them behind is there?...

But not all animals love the bit where they have to be in the car for a few hours to get from A to B.
So what are some of the tricks to make all this 'stress free' for our pets?

To find out more Brian caught up with Kylie Kavanagh who is the Surgery Veterinary Nurse Manager at Sydney's Animal Referral Hospital and also happens to be a multi-event winner showing her dogs under the banner 'Strongstorm Staffords'.

 

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TRANSCRIPT:

KAYE:
If you've got pets and love travelling with them as much as we do there's no way we're going to leave them behind, is there?

But not all animals love the bit where they have to be in the car for a few hours to get from A to B.

So what are some of the tricks to make all this as stress free for our pets as soon as possible?

To find out more, Brian caught up with Kylie Kavanagh who's the surgery Veterinary nurse manager at Sydney's Animal Referral hospital, and also happens to be a multi event winner,showing her dogs under the banner Strongstorm Staffords.

BRIAN:
So Kylie first of all, tell us a little bit about Strongstorm Staffords. You obviously like dogs... why the breed??

KYLIE:
I fell in love with the breed through VET nursing. I've been nursing for 25 years now you and I fell in love with the breed on a nursing level. I always found them to be such great patients.

Always wagging their tails... very stoic dogs and I don't know... I was just drawn to them! And having grown up with gun dogs, my parents always had an Irish setter and a Weimaraner so it wasn't until I moved out and had my own house that I got my first Stafford, who was a rescue dog and then I got my second Stafford, who was a pure bred pedigree.

So then that got me into showing and we've been very successful with that!

BRIAN:
Well with the showing, you're always away somewhere right?

KYLIE:
Well, yeah, most weekends away, but then busy morning and night with the dogs out walking and getting them out exercising every day you know!

BRIAN:
Well, this is one of the things we wanted to talk about that you do a lot of traveling to shows etc, what are some of the things that you've learnt? I guess starting off from the beginning what you learned about traveling with dogs, do you put them in crates? you chain them down? do you drug them? What do you do?

KYLIE:
Well I'll first start with when you've got a puppy traveling for the first time in the car. More times than not there they're gonna get a bit of car sickness They're gonna be drooly and quite often, they might have a little vomit in the car.

BRIAN:
That's stress, isn't it?

KYLIE:
Yeah, stress and just motion sickness and something they're not used to. I've had many puppies do the same thing and they do get used to it with us traveling to local shows. I mean, the traveling's not too long and all of my dogs now are fine either in the car or traveling in the trailer as well. They don't get any motion sickness.

Although a seat harness is good for short trips, I usually have my dogs in crates.

BRIAN:
I guess because when you're in between going in and out of the show ring, the dogs ideally need to be contained don't they?

KYLIE:
Absolutely, so they need to be crate trained from day one. I crate train all our dogs and puppies before they go to their new homes as well they're all crate trained and we do recommend to new owners to keep that going. Plus it's also somewhere for them to sleep in at night so they're not wandering around the house.

BRIAN:
What!... they don't sleep on the bed with you ??? (LAUGHS!)

KYLIE:
No, I know some people might like that, which is a small white fluffies maybe, but I think it's somewhere that the dog can go for meals, to have quiet time and things like that.

Plus if you've got visitors over and you don't want the dogs running around and jumping on everyone then it's somewhere that the dog can be put in that they feel safe and they should be able to curl and go to sleep.

BRIAN:
Now, of course, we've got everything from Toy Poodles and even slightly smaller right up to Great Danes and the like, is there any difference in how we should be treating these dogs when we go traveling with them, apart from perhaps where they're going to be in the car?

KYLIE:
No, I think every dog should be treated the same when traveling. I would probably not feed them before going on a trip away particularly if you've got say a few hours in the car because if they do get a bit of motion sickness, they going to bring that up and you're going to have a big mess!

BRIAN:
Well that's the other thing isn't it? We use the term "empty the dog!" when we empty them at night

KYLIE:
Absolutely!... Make sure they've gone to the toilet. Also if its a really large dog it might have to be in the back seat with a suitable harness, after all they all need to be restrained, legally & they need to be restrained and for their own safety as well!

BRIAN:
Okay, now, let's say we've got a dog that just doesn't seem to you know... 'click with traveling' in a car, sort of like "OH I HATE THE CAR!" - What can you do to help? Is there anything to help keep them calm? We don't need brand names or anything but the kinds of the drugs or the scents and things they can take?

KYLIE:
There are anti anxiety drugs that you can give them and I guess it's something that you can use to desensitize them to doing short trips. Even if it's just around the block and then back home again, and then once they get there, make it sort of a fun thing. And if you're doing that regularly, then they'll get used to and make the trips slightly longer each time and try to make it a fun experience and something I think they should get used to.

There are also drugs to help if they get motion sickness and they start to feel nauseous. Of course I guess that's going to be off putting for the dogs long term

BRIAN:
So don't go to doctor Google right?... Go to your local Vet!

KYLIE:
Yes, yes, absolutely! :-)

BRIAN:
Kylie Kavanagh, thank you very much for joining us on Food Wine Pets Travel