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Your questions answered - How can I calm my nervous dog down?

11 March 2005
Q: My dog doesn’t travel well at all. He’s normally a very loving animal but gets frightened in the car and becomes overactive, irritable and snappy. He’s a rescue dog and around six-years-old so I don’t think I can re-train him. Is there anything else I can do to calm him down?
Jason Thomas, Bristol

A: Vet David Prydie, (author of Travel Tips for Dogs and Cats – available from Wagtails on 020 8502 4487), says medications are available to help animals who get stressed by travelling. They should be used only when absolutely necessary, however, and after your dog has been given a clean bill of health by your vet.

ACP – acepromazine - is the most commonly prescribed, but it’s very strong and may make your dog appear drunk and wobbly. Tablets are given about half an hour before travelling and the effects last eight hours or more.

Valium-diazepam is a less-dramatic alternative to ACP. It calms and relaxes without making the dog too drowsy, but its effects don’t last as long.

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