Thinking of going on a road trip? Why not take your family pet dog with you to make your trip that much more enjoyable? Dogs, unlike many other animals, can make great car companions. However, most refrain from taking their dogs with them due to fear or accidents or the inconvenience caused to the dog due to lack of space to move around or have sufficient food and drink. Dog pee and poop are also common dangerous circumstances that most would not even want to think of due to the work involved in cleaning.
However, travelling with your dog is not as inconvenient as many would think. With the right equipment and tips, you can ensure you have a comfortable trip whether you are alone or with your family. These are as follows.
- Decide How to Restrain Your Dog in Your Car (1 of 6)
It is never safe to leave your dog unrestrained due to risk of car accidents and collisions. Hitting the brakes unexpectedly can cause your dog to either sustain severe injuries or even kill him. Or, your dog may experience high stress levels and feel very uncomfortable during the ride. For these reasons, it is essential that you consider crating as it can be a very effective means of keeping your dog in securely in place and prevent it from getting hurt due to you losing control of the vehicle and colliding with an object or another car or from suddenly stopping the car.
There are other ways of keeping your dog safe in the car if you don’t think crating is a good option. If you own a station wagon, make sure you confine your dog to the back of the car. Or, you may use a wire grid to prevent your dog from falling out of their seat. Furthermore, you should place a blanket or bed along to ensure they can sleep comfortably and not move too much out of their place. Allowing your dog to sleep will be a good way of countering any symptoms of motion sickness.
Although these methods may not be as secure as a crate, it can still go a long way in minimizing risks of collisions and accidents. If you do use a crate, it should be placed in a way that is firm and not easily movable if the brakes are applied.
- Ensure Your Dog Likes the Crate (2 of 6)
If you intend on using the crate, you have to make sure that the dog finds it comfortable to lie down in it. This is because, if your dog does not like it, he may move out of it while you are driving and expose him to risk of physical impact. Thus, it is important for you to introduce the crate to your dog. Allow him to sniff the crate before putting it in the car. You should put your dog only after carefully placing the crate between your backseat and the floor.
- Take Your Dog for a Long Walk before Putting Him in the Car (3 of 6)
If you are going for a long car ride, it will be beneficial to take your dog for a long walk since it can make him tired during the ride and reduce the chances of him becoming overly active. If you use a crate for a dog that is fully active, he will feel very uncomfortable and show signs of inconvenience through barking. Dogs, like other animals, like freedom. If they are tired, however, they will make less of an issue and tolerate it.
Getting your dog to exercise before a car ride is crucial, especially if it is many hours’ worth of drive.
- Do not feed your dog before a car ride (4 of 6)
Never make the mistake of feeding your dog right before you put him in the car for a long ride. Doing so will only increase the chances of your dot getting carsick; not to mention the possibility of your dog pooping over in the dog crate or seat. You should ensure your dog is fed at least a few hours prior to the ride so that he can be comfortable and easily take a nap in your car.
- Pack all essential items (5 of 6)
Before you hit the accelerator pedal, be sure to pack items for your dog to last the entire car ride. You need to pack all important items that can keep your dog entertainment and comfortable. This will save you plenty of agitation after discovering you have forgot to pack important supplies. Make sure you consider packing the following items: lead, ID tag, collar, leash, food, snacks, bowls, washcloths, blankets, toys, and any other item that you think will be crucial.
Toys, for instance, will be the key to keeping your dog amused throughout the trip. Instead of having your dog hang its head and ears outside the window, something which is extremely dangerous, keeping toys in the dog crate will help ensure it is in one place and does not move about too much.
- Always take breaks (6 of 6)
Your dog has a natural tendency to sniff items and take fresh air. However, this cannot be the case when he is sitting in a dog crate for multiple hours. You need to allow your dog to take a good break by letting him out of your car, take a walk, sniff, or even urinate or poop. This is extremely important for making your dog feel at ease and relaxed during the rest of the trip.
Just as we take a toilet or snack break during long road trips, the same principle applies for dogs. The number of breaks you should take will ultimately depend on the duration of your road trip. By taking a small walk with your dog during a break, it will ensure your dog’s blood circulation is normal and prevent him from falling victim to depression and anxiety. You can also feed him a meal during the break so that he is satisfied.