How to Help Your Dog with Jet Lag When You Travel 

Traveling across time zones can be hard on anyone. Your days can feel like nights and your nights can feel like days which is disorienting for even the most adept travelers. Now imagine how your dog feels! And even if you get your clock adjusted, no one wants to have their pup waking them up in the middle of the night. Here are our tried-and-true steps to helping your dog adjust to the new time zone and jettison that jet lag! 

6 Steps to Help Your Dog with Jet Lag

  1. Adjust your dog’s eating to match up with their schedule at home. If your dog normally eats at 9am and 5pm (or whatever their schedule is) then try to feed them at 9am and 5pm local time. 
  2. Make sure to allow outside time for your pup. After a long flight in the air, take your dog on a walk and let them stretch their little legs. Exposure to the sunlight (or lack thereof at night) will help their circadian rhythm adjust. If you normally walk your dog at a certain time, try to walk them at a similar adjusted time. 
  3. Bring a comfort item and blanket for your pup for sleeping. We recommend our favorite blanket for your pup that is machine washable, folds up small and stays super soft. We recommend having your dog sleep with it for at least a few days before your trip. When you’re ready to go to bed, make sure to have their blanket out for them to sleep with. It will help them feel more comfortable and will smell familiar- something super important for dogs! If your dog has a toy or stuffed animal that they are used to sleeping with, make sure you pack that along with the blanket. If your dog is crate trained, have them sleep in their travel crate for the week leading up to your trip.
  4. Give your pup a large dinner. Everyone sleeps better with a full tummy and your dog is no exception. As you’re adjusting your dog’s sleep schedule, don’t forget that their hunger schedule will need adjustment too. With so many changes for your dog, keeping their tummy fuller will also help keep them calmer. 
  5. Get your dog good and tired before bed. Take them for a long walk, throw the ball for fetch or any other activity that will wear them out a little bit before bed.
  6. Give your pup a little food or a treat if/when they wake up the first night. It is very common for their sleep schedules to be off for the first night or two. Give them a few scratches and then a little bit of food or a treat and put them back to bed. While you’re up, get yourself a snack as well- you’ll sleep better too!

 Check our tips on how to feed your pup without packing an extra suitcase for food here.

Dog Jet Lag FAQs

  • My dog sleeps in a crate at home- how can I take them with me when I travel?

    Collapsible crates are lightweight and come in different sizes for your dog’s needs. They are sturdy enough for your dog’s comfort but lightweight enough for a suitcase. Here’s a list of some of the crates we recommend
  • Why do you recommend a sleeping blanket and which one should I buy?

    Having a blanket that is soft, comfortable and familiar to your dog will help them sleep easier. If you don’t use a crate for sleeping, setting out their blanket will also give them a space to rest and relax in a new environment. Every dog owner can attest that dog\s love soft microfiber and this blanket stays soft wash after wash!