View Full Version : Churchill gets very anxious when we go in our new RV ?what to do . . .

Karen Rawlins
6th June 2012, 03:09 PM
We just purchase a new RV so that we could go travel around the country. The first few times we too a small trip with Churchill he became very anxious. Breathing hard and heart pounding. He didn't get sick but seems anxious. We are planning an extended trip to the redwoods in northern CA and will be gone for about 2 weeks. I don't want to put him on more medication so my vet suggested "Stress Away" any suggestions?? He is 5 years old and we have taken him on many trips in our SUV, but never in an RV. Thanks. Karen:cool:

6th June 2012, 04:20 PM
Awe..poor little guy ! ( Btw..he looks a lot like our Wrigley !)
Does Churchill get anxious in your SUV at all? How does he usually ride? ( in a crate..or on your lap??)
This is only a guess....but perhaps because the RV is larger..he doesn't feel as safe? Plus..it is NEW..and unfamiliar to him. You might want to just let him wander around in it while it is not moving.
Also...maybe keeping him in a crate ( rather than the drugs) would help till he gets used to it?
I haven't heard of the "Stress Away"..but I know our daughter's Vet suggested melatonin ( which is a natural herb) to calm her dogs during thunderstorms. I am always leary of synthetic drugs...and lean more towards a natural approach if possible. Do you know what this stress away has in it?

6th June 2012, 05:44 PM
This isn't my idea - I know I've read it elsewhere, but would you consider bringing him into the RV on an ad hoc basis - just so he can get the feel of it, without actually travelling anywhere, and maybe think about feeding him in there too, so he would associate it with good things.
I'd love to go on a trip around the US in an RV - some day we'll do it, but unfortunately, it will have to be done without the dogs.

6th June 2012, 06:06 PM
Agree with the above suggestions. I'd have him in and out, feed him in it, have one of his favourite beds in there, his favourite toys, play with him in there. Maybe for travelling -- crate him (assuming you have him crate trained -- the safest way to transport a dog) and put a dark sheet over it so it is calm and a dark retreat. Many dogs that do not like travel do far far better crates *and covered*. This is how I often transported rescue dogs. Does he have a kong? If not, I'd get him one, stuff and use it regularly for him, then he can have a stuffed kong in his crate when it is time to travel.

Travel anxiety tends to come because the dog has not been acclimatised to the vehicle. This takes time. EG get him used to it while it isn't moving, after a week or two, drive it just around the block, etc.

You can use a few drops of rescue remedy -- some find this works.

Also turn on the radio to some calm music -- both when the RV is just parked, and always when moving, Classical music is good! :) The music serves to calm but also acts as a kind of 'white noise' to get rid of startling noises that may make him nervous.

You can also buy a dog hormone (DAP) spray that is very calming. I would use all these before I'd consider medications. Also -- give him a good long walk/play/obedience practice session before getting in the RV for travel. A tired dog is a sleeping dog that isn't an anxious dog... :)

7th June 2012, 01:38 AM
Since he's traveled well befor I'm guessing he will do fine once he's adjusted to the new vehicle. I second all the suggestions about acclimating him to the RV--in and out, let him find treats hidden in there, feed him in there, etc., and then move to a short trip down the road and back, and increase it.

I give my Golden melatonin and it calms him down quite well. Another thing you might investigate is a Thundershirt. They work very well for most dogs. I have seen them for sale at PetSmart and over the Internet. Some people instead use a snug t-shirt, which can work as well. It's the swaddling effect that calms the dog. Good luck! Hope your trip is fun.

Karen Rawlins
7th June 2012, 05:44 PM
Thanks to everyone who posted their suggestions. I will try them all. He is crate trained but usually sits on my lap which I feel is kind of dangerous. Wish us luck. Thanks again.
Karen Churchills Mom