None of us like to be apart from our beloved animals when we travel, but it is often unavoidable. For many animal lovers, one of the most challenging parts of going away—during holidays or anytime—is a deep concern or worry about our animals’ welfare and happiness during our absence. When we are able to take them with us when we travel, concerns often revolve around planning logistics in a way that keeps our animals safe and involves the least possible amount of stress for them.
Though nothing can assure a complete void of separation anxiety when we are away, and nothing can guarantee perfect smooth sailing when we travel together, there are resources available to help our animal loved ones feel more secure and less stressed during times of separation from us and during times of travel with us.
I wrote this article to share ideas and resources that have helped hundreds of clients in these situations with whom I have worked. You’ll find specific tips and resources followed by a story of an animal who benefitted from them.
May these ideas be of service to you and the animals you love, and may your travels be safe, your time apart bearable, and your reunions glorious!
Offer Your Animals Healing Flower Essences To Mitigate Their Stress
Have your animal’s caregiver put a few drops of flower essences in their water while you are away. The most commonly used essence for separation is Bleeding Heart because it helps us feel emotionally and spiritually connected to our loved ones even when physically separated. It also reduces the fear and anxiety of separation so common for animals when we are apart. I would never leave home without being sure my pet sitter will be giving my cats Bleeding Heart! It has made a huge difference for many of my clients’ animals over the years.
If your animal has serious separation anxiety or depression when you are separated, or is known to become extremely distressed during travel, try using the Animal Relief Formula. This formula includes Borage (for depression) and Wild Rose (for despair) and all the essences found in Five Flower Formula (also known as Rescue Remedy)–Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock Rose and Star of Bethlehem–to bring calmness & stability in emergencies and high stress situations. I created the Animal Relief Formula in conjunction with FES to help animals with current trauma or stress, past traumatic stress, and to use as a preventive measure for trauma and stress.
If your animal(s) becomes just mildly sad when you are away, or you want to prevent such sadness, I would recommend using Bleeding Heart. If your animal(s) has stronger reactions to your separations, then I recommend using the Animal Relief Formula. You can use either of these recommendations not just for overnight or longer periods when apart, but also for times when you may be gone for just a few hours or an entire day for the animal who becomes seriously anxious and upset even when you are gone for a short time. I also strongly recommend using the Animal Relief Formula for animals who are traveling with you by car, plane, train or boat.
Be sure to read the case story in this article to learn how flower essences helped a dog who had severe separation anxiety, and look for the links at the end of the post for more information on understanding what flower essences are and how to use them.
If You Are Traveling and Your Animals Are Not Coming With You:
Have a conversation with them so they know exactly what to expect while you are gone
Whether you do this on your own or with the help of a professional animal communicator, talking with your animals telepathically about upcoming trips can tremendously reduce the stress of separation by letting them know all the details of what to expect:
1. That you will be gone, why you need to go away and where you will be
2. The duration of your trip (day and general time of departure, day and general time of return)
3. Who will be caring for them: the regular person. someone new, have they met?
How often will this person be with them: 24/7, visits once or twice a day, etc?
4. Where will they be during your absence: in your home, someone else’s home, a kennel?
5. Will their eating, exercise, play and sleep routines be the same or different?
6. Where will they be while you are away (your home, another person’s home, a kennel, remain at their current barn, etc.)
7. Will their feeding, exercise, play and sleep routines be the same or different?
8. That you love them with all your heart and will miss them. . .
9 . That YOU WILL BE BACK! PICTURE yourself coming back into your home through the doorway that your animal sees you when you come home. (or being picked up at the kennel, or returning to the barn, etc.) Picture your reunion with joy and love.
This list of travel facts to share may sound awfully basic and simple. However, imagine for a moment that you have a significant other who leaves your home from time to time, never explaining why, where he or she is going, for how long and even if he or she is coming back. Further imagine that you physically depend on this person to give you food and water, help you with your physical elimination needs. . . imagine becoming frightened about when they will return. Silly analogy? Perhaps, because it’s an unlikely scenario for most of us as humans.
However, the fear, upset and anxiety I have heard from many animals regarding what it’s like for them when their person is gone is very real, and often serious. It never hurts to try to put ourselves in another’s shoes to build empathy and understanding about what a certain situation might be like for them. When we have a conversation with them we don’t have to guess! We can find out exactly how they feel and think about a situation, what any specific worries might be, answer their questions, be sure that they understand all the logistics and facts about our trip, and assure them of our love and our return.
Knowing the facts and details of our travel plans does not prevent our animals from missing us, but it goes a long way to reduce potential stress, anxiety and the disturbing problem of destroying things in attempts to escape or express frustration or upset about our absence.
Once you are away, stay in touch with your animal loved ones with these highly practical and helpful tips from my colleague Nedda Wittels.
If You Are Traveling and Your Animals Are Coming With You:
Have a conversation with them to describe in detail how you will be traveling together so they know exactly what to expect
Though taking our animals with us when we travel eliminates the separation anxiety so often experienced when they stay home, taking them with us entail its own potential set of stressors for animals. Explaining in detail what to expect can prevent and lessen the understandable stress of travel. Even if our animals find the entire travel experience unpleasant or scary, at least that experience will not have the added stress of shock and surprise if we let them know what to expect:
1. Explain all forms of travel involved and what they entail: what do they look like and sound like–car, plane, train, boat, hotel, etc.
2. Clarify the length and nature of each leg of the trip, i.e., a 30 minute taxi ride to the airport; followed by two hours in airport terminal and airport security; followed by six hours on a plane; followed by a 20 minute car ride to Grandma’s house.
For each leg of the trip: Will they be in kennel, or not? Leashed, or not? With you or in the cargo area of a plane/train/ship?
3. Describe the noises and vibrations they will hear and feel for each leg of the trip
(I have found it very helpful to explain the sites, sounds and vibrations involved in air travel–not just while in the air, but during take off, landing, time in the terminals, etc.)
4. What they will see and hear during travel (can you imagine going through airport security for the first time without ANY warning about what it’s like? It’s bad enough knowing!)
5. Tell them what the weather will be like, and what smells they may encounter, upon arrival to your final destination. This is especially important if the environment will be quite different from home.
6. Assure them that they will be fed, including any explanations about whether their food will be the same or different.
7. Carefully explain where they be able to and expected to eliminate (i.e., litter box and its location; outside areas and will they be leashed or unleashed to do this)?
8. Clarify any rules for safety or boundary issues (i.e., when in hotel can go outside only on a leash; when leaving the car must remain in the carrier, etc.)
9. Describe any other animals they may see on the journey and at your final destination (include any requests such as “please be gentle with Grandma’s older cat”, etc.)
Whether you talk with your animals on your own or with professional assistance, whether you are traveling while your animals stay home or taking them with you, please consider informing them about the travel plans–in detail! It can go a long way to help keep them feeling calm, secure and assured of your return. For humans and animals alike, being well informed about what to expect reduces the natural stress of travel and times of unavoidable separation.
To learn more about how animal communication works, see the links at the end of the article.
The Dog Who Went From “Ballistic” to “Just a Bit Sad” With the Help of Flower Essences and Animal Communication
A client I worked with described her dog as “going ballistic” every year when she went away on an annual vacation with a friend. He would try to escape from their home (and at times succeeded). He would keep her spouse up all night whining. He hardly ate any food and had no interest in playing or taking walks. During one of the woman’s trips, her husband got sedatives for the dog from their vet to calm him because of his extreme agitation, anxiety and depression while his wife was away. The sedative kept the dog quiet and physically still, but it also made the him somewhat drowsy and mentally “out of it” during most of the day. Perhaps most significantly, it didn’t solve the underlying problem.
My client wanted an alternative to drugs for this severe separation anxiety problem before her next trip. First, we talked with her dog to let him know why his person was going away, the reasons he could not accompany her, how long she would be away, that she would come back and when, would miss him terribly, and that his Daddy would take care of him in her absence. He was very, very relieved to finally know what was going on when his person went away and that she would always come home. He said he was always terrified that she wouldn’t return. He had been in three foster homes before my client adopted him and he said that each transition broke his heart. He believed they “left him” and “sent him to new places” because “he wasn’t good enough”. A great deal of that sense of unworthiness had healed–thanks to the tremendous love and bond he experiences with my client. However, the remaining “trigger” for him regarding his past occurred when she left home. He was terrified that she would not return. In our discussion, he said that even though he now had a much better understanding of why she had to go away sometimes, he said it still made him sad knowing she was leaving again soon, and he believed he might still be pretty anxious and upset when she left.
For the sadness I recommended Bleeding Heart, which brings a sense of emotional security to loved ones who are apart by helping them focus on the ongoing emotional and spiritual connection that still exists even when physically separated. This is my go-to recommended essence to help anyone-both animals and their people–with sadness or anxiety associated with separation.
For the depression I recommended Wild Rose, which restores the vital forces of the soul when there is depression, a sense of resignation, lack of hope, apathy, or despair which depletes one’s vitality or will to live . Wild Rose helps us regain joy and connection to earthly life.
For the anxiety and agitation I recommended Five Flower Formula (contains the exact same essences that are in Rescue Remedy), which brings grounding, calmness and stability to high stress situations. Because Bleeding Heart, Wild Rose and Five Flower Formula are in the Animal Relief Formula, only one bottle was needed.
My client gave her dog the essences for a few days before her trip and her husband continued to do so for the duration of her stay away from home. Later, they happily reported that the dog seemed slightly sad during her absence, but not depressed, not agitated, did not try to escape, ate well, did not whine and seemed to fully enjoy playing and taking walks.
This story is an example of how effective it can be to combine animal communication with flower essences in resolving problems surrounding separations. The telepathic communication provided the dog reassurance that his person would always come back, and helped his person understand the specific reasons for his distress. The flower essences took over from there, helping the dog better accept the woman’s absence and to feel more calm and enjoy life despite her absence.
It was the combination of animal communication and the flower essences that resolved the problem. For both animals and people, insights can help us better understand our issues, and even more so when they can be discussed with an empathic, caring listener. This often brings tremendous relief and healing to a problem. However, insights and loving support don’t always fully heal our issues. Flower essences often help us make the leap from insight to having the courage to apply what we’ve learned in real life and to realize more full healing. Flower essences pick up where talking about problems and logic leaves off. For our animals, they gently drive and support the continuation of the healing of issues that may have been uncovered, clarified and discussed during conversations.
I was so delighted when I learned that this dog was able to settle into a feeling of security when separated from his main person–with the help of just one conversation and a bottle of flower essences! I hope that you, too, might try these resources for your animal when you need to travel.
Please feel free to share your own resources and stories about what has helped your animals during times of separation and travel in the Comments section below!
Links to Learn More About Flower Essences
How to use flower essences for animals, including how to select and how to administer
Lists and descriptions of flower essences for specific situations
Teleclass: Using Flower Essences for Illness, End-of-Life Care, Caregiver Stress, and Healing Grief
Links to Learn More About Animal Communication
Overview of Animal Communication
What is animal communication and how does it work?
Learn the basics with Teresa’s on-demand teleclass: Introduction to Telepathic Animal Communication
When to use animal communication and how can it help?
What Teresa’s consultations are like
Fees and scheduling appointments
MP3: Animal Communication: Using an Energetic Preparation Process for Clear, Optimal Connection
Track 1: Components of energetic preparation for animal communication
Track 2: Guided meditation to begin animal communication
To accommodate the busy holiday season when so many of you may be traveling, if you would like a 30-minute animal communication consultation to talk with your animals about your journey away, or how you will be traveling together, but find those short slots booked on my schedule, please email me and we will find a time outside the regular schedule for a consultation. And, of course, you can always choose a 60 or 90-minute session. Whatever the time frame, I am here to support you and your animals!
2 thoughts on “Reducing Stress for Your Animals While You Are Traveling”
Because of things from my past, I have not used bleeding heart essence. I kind of think I may need it at least as much as my pups. My work commute has some risks, especially with this weather and there have been a few close calls. I’ve seen three bad accidents in the past three days. I’m always asking God to keep me and my family safe while gone. Though we have had a conversation with Billy and Sweet Pea, they still have a fit when I leave, even if it is to walk to the mail box. Sweets has even taken up barking at me like Billy.
I understand Linda. 🙂 And yes, sometimes we humans need Bleeding Heart, too, when we miss them during times of trips and separations! Be safe on those roads, Linda! Sending much love to all of you ~