By using a simple method and patience, Pet travel is easier when you train your Dog to drink from a bottle feeder. It limits messy, wet crates and keeps them hydrated any you can add extra nutrients if they do not eat kibble on flights.
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Pet travel is stressful enough without worrying about if your pets are safe when flying in checked baggage or cargo. Are they hungry and are they hydrated is a huge concern for me and you.
Many Pets in Cargo will refuse to eat during a flight, which is perfectly normal. A treat to chew on and a bottle feeder filled with nutrient rich broth or supplement provides sustenance and a distraction. And, although they will be very ready to eat or drink once they see you again, it does help to keep them from throwing up.
Good bottle feeder training alleviated three concerns for me and my Pets when flying: 1: hydration, hunger, messy crates. You do not want water splashing and spilling during loading. Water Bottle training is best, next to that use frozen water.
Choose the right bottle.
- It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy but, get one and try to choose one that has:
- A stainless steel nozzle food grade balls for easy cleaning and hygiene.
- A screw-on attachment at the back of the bottle to secure it to the wireframe crate door
- And, preferably one that is clear so ground crew can easily see if it needs to be refilled.
The most important aspect to look for is the quality of the roller ball at the base of the bottle. We surveyed Pet Travelers and found that a bottle without a spring mechanism works best. These often fail.
…the first one we bought was so tight, the ball was hardly rolling…the metal spring was not allowing water to drop easily and my Dog has to suck the tip instead of just licking the nozzle.Animal Travelers FaceBook
Your Pet may not eat at all on a flight—even a long one and that is usually okay. Hydration is most important but, you can still add nutrient rich liquids in their bottle. I like the Vannon Dog Bottle dispenser at Amazon because it is leak-proof, made for travel crates, BPA free, see-through and reasonably priced.
Since feeding solids within 3 hours before a flight is not recommended by most airlines, you can add nutrient rich liquids to ensure your Dog is hydrated, fed and give you peace of mind.
Related: Prepare a Pet Crate for Air Travel
Choose a Method that Works for Your Pet
- Liquid Method
- Sticky Method
1. The Liquid Method
Fill your Dogs bottle with regular water and add Pedialyte or low-sodium broth (vegetable, chicken—homemade or store-bought).
Pedialyte works great because its concentration of electrolytes and lower sugar concentration compared to sports drinks such as Gatorade.
Pedialyte is safe for Dogs in moderation and it’s formula has electrolytes including potassium, magnesium and sodium chloride.
It is used to treat infant humans that are dehydrated and is perfectly safe in moderation for your fur baby too.
Broth is a good choice because all Dogs have a taste for savory, meaty flavors. So next time you’re cooking up a dish with broth, save some for the bottle training.
Just make sure the broth is not too fatty because when it’s mixed with cool or cold water, it may coagulate and gum up the nozzle. A good veggie broth eliminates that issue.
When I first introduce broth, I used a 50/50 portion but, once they took to the nozzle, I cut back on the broth a bit.
The savory flavor of the broth was meant to teach them to drink from a bottle.
When travelling and I think they may be a bit stressed and not eat kibble, I feed them kibble but not within 4 hours of a flight. Then, I use a 50/50 split of broth and filtered water.
When they realize there’s a savory new taste treat they can have at the end of the nozzle, they will quickly adapt their love of licking to include a water bottle.
2. The Sticky Method
Maybe your fur baby needs a bit more time spent getting used to the nozzle—spending a bit more time playing with it to get enough water for hydration.
After all, lapping water from a bowl allows them to get more water faster than licking a nozzle.
Or, if they just respond to sweet treats more than savory, you can choose the sticky method instead.
Smear smooth Peanut Butter or honey on the nozzle and let them spend more time enjoying working it off the tip. Each effort is rewarded with more water too.
Both peanut butter and honey are safe for Dogs (unless they have a nut allergy)
This training isn’t so much a new command as it is a life skill.
Like any human child learning to eat with utensils, for a dog, learning to drink from a bottle makes life so much easier.
It also adds a bit of distraction during a long flight. Of course, you will include their favorite blanket or toy but, adding a hydrating and nourishing treat to their water distracts them from the tediousness of air travel and gives them something to lick—Dogs love to lick!
Water Stays Fresher During Long Flights
Not only does using a Pet water bottle keep their fur drier, but water also stays cleaner and fresher. It cuts down on contamination, slobber, dirt and waste.
See Also, How To Crate Train Your Pet for Air Travel
Can dogs eat honey and is it safe for them?
Yes, Honey is safe for Dogs and Cats to eat and provides health benefits such vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, and K. and minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, and more.
Is Pedialyte safe for Dogs?
Pedialyte is safe for Dogs. The formula has electrolytes like potassium, magnesium and sodium chloride, and is used to alleviate and prevent dehydration in humans and animals.
See Also, Layovers with Pets at the Airport
Or, Best Cargo Crate for Flying with Large Dogs in 2022
It’s very convenient for your Pet and you when traveling when your Dog enjoys drinking directly from a bottle?
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