The Ultimate Guide to Using a Dog Travel Mat. 15 Reasons Why You'll Love Them!
“Training a dog to go to a bed or a mat is brilliant for young or anxious dogs; it gives them clear criteria like a job, which helps them settle and reduces unwanted behaviour.” Ryan Tate, Founder of Animal Training Academy
As avid listeners to Ryan Tate’s dog training podcasts, we were so excited to have him as a guest on our blog. Not only is Ryan a professional animal trainer, he is also a qualified Marine Biologist, Zookeeper, Dog Trainer and Assessor.
We wanted to ask Ryan for his advice on mat training to ensure that every pup gets maximum use from their Indie Boho Dog Travel Mat.
We have found that if your dog is already familiar with their Indie Boho bed, then transitioning to a travel mat when they need to should be relatively easily. The real test is ensuring that they stay on their mat in environments where there are lots of distractions ie. at a café, restaurant, picnic, office or a friends place. If you’ve adopted a dog or a puppy that needs work on their behaviour, then mat training is the ideal foundation.
Ryan’s Top Tips
- Start in a familiar location
- Reward your dog frequently on the mat in the early stages
- Introduce a “release command” so your dog knows when it is supposed to get off the mat, this means “stay” is implied.
- Gradually build up to distracting environments once your dog has this solid around the house.
THE TRAVEL, HOME AND TRAINING AND ESSENTIAL
There is nothing we love more than when our lovely customers send us pics of their fur babies using their travel mat in a way we didn’t even think of! This inspired us to put together this list of ‘Top 15 Ways to Use a Dog Travel Mat’.
Our dog (and cat!) travel mats are foldable, waterproof, washable & padded just enough to be cozy but still roll up into a compact size, providing your dog with comfort wherever you go. And you guys are going everywhere! Here is just the ‘edited’ list of uses for your travel mat:
2. ON HOLIDAYS — when your car or bags are full and you can't fit the entire pet bed in. This travel mat will save the day!
3. AT CAFE'S AND RESTAURANTS — a mat will encourage good behaviour as it calms our furkids down more. Without one it is far too tempting to roam around from table to table looking for scraps and pats!
4. IN THE AIR — we know of so many assistance dogs that take these on the plane with them. It helps to contain their shedding fur and gives them a defined, comfortable. Even in turbulence, the water can spill on the travel mat and not create a mess.
5. AT HOME — when the messy treats come out, use a mat to prevent your plush carpets and designer rugs from being soiled!
6. IN THE OFFICE — once the welcome pats are out of the way and work (unfortunately) needs to be done, give them their very own area defined by the mat so they can sleep, play and eat their treats while you can get on with
7. IN THE CAR — being waterproof, they are perfect for the car so you don't have to worry about travel sickness, wet or sandy paws getting onto your upholstery or leather.
8. HARDWARE STORE TROLLEYS — line the hardware store trolley with this padded mat for a far more comfortable ride and take all the time you need in the plant section!
9. ON THE DECK/COURTYARD OR IN THE BACKYARD — if it’s a particularly hot/cold day, if the ground is wet or if there are ants, then take the mat to their favourite outdoor spot and you never know, their best friend might join them.
10. AS A CRATE MAT — fold them to any size to fit a crate! Why choose boring brown or black crate pads when you can have alpacas, leopards or tropical leaves lining the crate instead.
11. DAYCARE — If your dog goes to daycare, you will know that they are allocated sleep time during the day, much like children! Take their mat as their own familiar space so they can actually get some shut eye before going back to their friends
12. CAMPING — forget old towels and blankets that take forever to dry and need constant washing, these travel mats are compact, easy to clean and don't absorb moisture
13. AT THE BEACH / PARK — when the ground is wet and sandy, you may want to steal your dog’s travel mat!
14. PUPPY SCHOOL — this is the ideal station training mat - one of the first behaviours that dogs are taught. "On your mat" is our favourite command to use every day!
15. IN ANY UNFAMILIAR PLACE — we’ve just listed some of the more common places to use a dog travel mat but there are so many more. In a pram or carrier, on public transport, while hiking, at the hairdressers, at the markets… or even at a nursing home like Alana’s example below.
WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS LOVE ABOUT INDIE BOHO PET TRAVEL MATS
“China and Boo waiting patiently on their beds for the residents at Mum’s aged care facility to finish their meal. I take them along about once a week as so many of the residents had to give up their own pets to move in to aged care.
I’ve been taking the dogs for the last 18 months. But as soon as I used the beds it is easier to have the dogs relax in the resident’s rooms, as it’s their familiar. So, I just pop them on the floor. Have China (on the left) and Boo (on the right) sit or drop. Then let them off their leads and let them know they’re free and they can then wander up to the person quite freely without it being a forced interaction. It is a truly great idea. I’d never thought to get them something like this, but it’s changed the dynamics!”
- Alana Kenny, Indie Boho Customer (Facebook post and message)
"I got the travel mat when my puppy was 12 weeks old and it felt like the biggest splurge since I didn't know if he would destroy it, but I wanted a good size for mat training at puppy school as well as for our regular cafe outings. I'm so happy that this has exceeded my expectations! From the moment I opened it up and laid it on the floor my pup went right up to it and flopped onto it since it's nicely padded, he has learnt that the mat is his place for good things like treats and chews and is a safe place I call him to when it gets busy at cafes and restaurants. I've also machine washed it multiple times and it's still as good as new, even with my pup digging at it sometimes too. Best investment ever!"
- Michelle Wong, Indie Boho Customer (Google review)
"I received this product last week. It is absolutely stunning. The design and quality are superb. We take our girl out with us for coffee most days and normally she fidgets and fusses which means we can't relax. We took her out yesterday and she fell asleep (yaay) - clearly she found it very comfy! The process from purchase to receipt of this beautiful Travel Mat was seamless and the company was a pleasure to deal with. Kathy (and Lily🐶)"
- Kathy Mitchell on Aug 19, 2019 (website review)
Perfect mat for every occasion whether it be at the park, beach or outside at home. My pupper is always comfortable. Love Indie Boho - amazing quality products.
- Nerida M. on Dec 03, 2019 (website review)
"Love this mat, it beautiful and great quality. We use it at dog school for training and take it out to cafe's etc as her "safe" space. I also use it to give her treats at home so she doesn't get mess on the carpet."
- Jo G. on Nov 01, 2019 (website review)
"I absolutely love the new alpaca travel mat that I recently got for my two dogs and think that anyone that has a dog that they take anywhere should have at least one of these mats.
The mat ticks all the right boxes including that it is a quality product, reasonably priced and bonus that it is waterproof so nice and easy to clean."
- Tracy S. on Feb 11, 2019 (website review)
"Perfect for my assistance dog when we are out and about, it is waterproof and now he can relax in comfort (and style!) Thanks for making great products!"
- Nicole B. on Jan 08, 2019 (website review)