Tips for Managing Joint Issues During Travel with Your Dog

Jan 31, 2024

When it comes to traveling with our four-legged friends, it’s not just about packing their favorite toys and ensuring they have a comfy spot in the car. For dogs with joint issues, travel can present unique challenges that require some careful consideration and preparation on your part. Understanding the importance of keeping our best friends comfortable, especially those dogs dealing with joint pain and mobility issues, is important.

Dog Joint Health: Keeping Joint Pain At Bay

Joint problems in dogs, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia, can significantly impact their comfort and mobility. These issues can become more of a problem during travel due to changes in their routine, unfamiliar environments, and the physical demands of journeying to a new place. Recognizing that a dog’s joint health directly affects its quality of life is important, especially when traveling with dogs. Dogs with limited mobility may experience frustration or distress, not only physically but also mentally. Dogs are loyal to us, and when they have limited mobility, they might feel they’re unable to fulfill their roles as companions and family members​​.

Signs of Dog Joint Health Problems

Many of us have seen our dogs slow down as they get older or after long periods of inactivity, but it’s important to realize that these signs can be more than just the usual effects of aging. Symptoms like difficulty getting up, reluctance to climb stairs, or a general decrease in activity could indicate underlying joint issues in dogs​​. And when we’re traveling, these signs can become even more evident, making what should be an enjoyable experience a stressful one for our furry friends and for us.

The good news is there are lots of ways to help manage the challenges of joint pain in dogs when traveling effectively!

Understanding the nature of your dog’s joint issues is the first step. Is it a developmental problem like hip dysplasia, which is common in certain breeds, or is it a degenerative issue like arthritis, which tends to worsen with age? Knowing the specific condition can guide you in choosing the right strategies for care and management​​.

Addressing Dog Joint Issues During Travel

How we travel with dogs makes a difference in their joint issues too. Here are some things to consider when planning travel with dogs with joint problems.

Car Travel: This is often the go-to for many pet parents simply because it offers control. You can stop for stretch breaks, control the temperature, and make sure your dog is secure in their favorite bed or crate. The downside? Long periods of inactivity and possibly motion sickness. Taking breaks for them to stretch their legs and get some stimulation will help all dogs, but especially ones with joint disease or those suffering from chronic pain in joints.

Plane Travel: It’s fast, but it can be stressful with the hustle and bustle of airports and the confinement of a crate. If you’re going by plane, think about scheduling a vet visit beforehand to make sure all is well before takeoff. And those chew toys that encourage jaw movement? They’re not just for fun; they can help manage air pressure during the flight​​. Plane travel is sometimes a must, for instance with a big family move, but it’s usually not the preferred method unless your dog is small enough to be in the main cabin with you. For dogs with more body weight, or suffering from degenerative joint disease, or who are just larger in breed and size, plane travel may be hard on their joints, and the speed in which you get there may not override the effect on the dog’s joints.

Train Travel: This is kind of a middle ground for travel, and yes, you can travel on trains with dogs. Some trains offer more space than planes, but you might not have as many opportunities for breaks as in a car. Pack a portable water dish and your dog’s favorite blanket to make the space feel safe and familiar, and remember that this may not be an option for larger dogs.

No matter the travel mode, though, comfort is key when traveling with dogs with joint issues. A cushy blanket, plenty of water on the trips, and as many opportunities as you can for regular exercise can make it easier on them.

Keeping Your Dog Moving: Exercise and Mobility on the RoadA gate in the back of the car when travel with your dog keeps this border collie safe

Speaking of exercise when traveling, how can you keep your dog limber and comfy while you’re out and about? When you’re traveling, the usual playtime at the dog park isn’t always on the travel itinerary, right? But that doesn’t mean exercise should take a back seat.

When traveling with dogs, we’ve got to get creative with our exercise routines. It’s like jazz – a bit of improvisation can often lead to some beautiful moments. If you’re used to long walks or runs with your dog, think about breaking them up into shorter stints to fit into your travel schedule. These mini-walks can keep the joints from getting stiff without overdoing it. This is especially true if there are long stretches in the car where there’s little movement on anyone’s part.

For dogs dealing with joint issues, it’s all about low-impact exercises that get the tail wagging without straining those tender spots. If the opportunity exists, swimming is fantastic. It’s like a massage for their joints, minus the hands. No pool or pond on your route? No worries. Walking in the shallow end of a beach (if allowed) or even through dewy grass can provide a bit of resistance without the impact of a hard surface and that can give some muscle mass building opportunity!

But be sure to be on the lookout for pain or discomfort. So many dogs can be the strong, silent type when it comes to pain. But we’re their best pals, and we need to know the signs – it’s likely they’re a bit slower to get up, lagging behind, or look at you with those “Do we have to?” eyes. If you see these cues, it’s time to switch gears and pull back. Maybe it means an extra break or a gentle massage.

Don’t forget that your travel toolkit should have some essentials for managing discomfort. Things like their prescribed pain meds, if they have any, a soft brace, if they use one, and a travel-sized bed for extra cushioning during rest stops can make all the difference. We also never leave home without Bernie’s Marvelous Mobility or Healthy Hips.

Bernie’s Marvelous Mobility: Paws-itively The Best For Dog Mobility When TravelingA white spitz dog looks out the window of the airplane seat shes riding in

When we started thinking about Bernie’s Marvelous Mobility and Bernie’s Healthy Hips, we were focused on what would truly benefit our own dogs, based on the latest research. And guess what? It wasn’t the same old glucosamine or chondroitin path; it was about looking forward and using ingredients backed by current studies that really make a difference.

We’re a family that likes to travel, and while Bernie and Lady are used to traveling, travel is still a decent shift from the norm for dogs. It can twist joint issues in ways we might not expect. The long hours of sitting without regular movement can make stiffness and discomfort worse. That’s why, when we were consulting with experts to decide on ingredients for Bernie and Lady, we looked at things like flaxseed oil and green-lipped mussels. Flaxseed has long been praised for its omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can help ease those achy joints and keep the coat shiny to boot​​​​. And green-lipped mussel is a new superhero in the field of osteoarthritis in dogs!

We’re just like you, we want nothing but the best for dogs. We didn’t want to just jump on any bandwagon of what was popular. For us, it was about giving our dogs the vibrant health and vitality they deserved – starting from the inside out.

We noticed our bigger breeds were slowing down, showing signs that their joints needed support, and we didn’t just want a quick fix. We needed something that would nourish them completely because good joint health isn’t just about one thing; it’s about the whole picture.

That’s why we rolled up our sleeves and dove nose-first into research. No old-school remedies that didn’t have the science to back them up for us, thank you. We wanted the current and the proven stuff that actually made a difference. That’s how we chose our lineup of ingredients – each one with a purpose and backed by studies and research.

We chose things like Astaxanthin–a potent antioxidant that’s a powerhouse at neutralizing free radicals. Those are the pesky little molecules that can lead to a whole host of issues, including cancer and heart disease in dogs.

Then there was Yucca Root Extract, which Indigenous people have used for centuries to treat a variety of joint ailments. Today, we understand that it’s not just folk medicine – this stuff has serious anti-inflammatory properties that can help with arthritis and joint pain, and why we knew it was a must-have for our mobility supplement​​.

Undenatured Type-II Collagen is like a secret ingredient in a family recipe – it helps maintain healthy cartilage and cushioned and comfy joints​​. And then, of course, the superhero of spices, turmeric, comes in. For our dogs, it’s like this golden magic dust for their joints. What makes it so special? Curcumin, that’s what. It’s been shown to help soothe those creaky joints and keep the aches at bay. Studies show that dogs who added a bit of turmeric to their diet seemed to get a pep back in their step.

Rolling out Bernie’s Marvelous Mobility was to help our own dogs, but also our way of saying, “Hey, joint issues shouldn’t keep your dog from enjoying the journey.”

Adding Bernie’s Marvelous Mobility to your dog’s daily regimen isn’t just about supporting their joints; it’s about making every trip, trek, and excursion as enjoyable as a regular old romp in the dog park.

So, whether you’re hitting the road, taking to the skies, or setting sail, Bernie’s Best has your dog’s back – and their knees, toes, and all the other joints, too. The goal is to enjoy the journey together, which means keeping our dogs as comfortable and happy as possible. Bernie’s Marvelous Mobility is an easy and delicious way to do this every day. Bernie told us so!


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