If you ever tried to ride your dog in a car, especially if it was the first time the dog was in the car, you probably remember that it didn’t go smoothly.
In fact, it is possible that the same scenario happened on the second, third and all other occasions.
Car rides with your dog can be stressful, and when you look at the world through canine’s eyes, you can see why. Cars are noisy, they don’t have enough space for your dog to move freely, they move unnaturally, and sudden turns and braking don’t help either.
Even though there are some dogs that enjoy riding in the car and try to run into the vehicle as soon as the opportunity presents itself, there are many more completely opposite cases. But don’t despair, there are ways to help your dog when it comes to travelling.
Allow your dog to get used to the new space
Arm yourself with tasty treats and bring your dog to the car. Let it go in alone or lure it with food. Praise and reward it for every step it makes – when it enters the car, when it starts sniffing around, when it gets relaxed and calm, etc. Once you have mastered this first step, start the car and repeat the same thing, only the goal this time would be for the dog to get used to the engine noise as well.
Ensure safe ride for your dog
Avoid letting your dog move or sit wherever it wants during a car ride. The dog doesn’t sense when it’s time for braking, taking a turn or speeding up and therefore it can easily hurt itself or other passengers. If you drive a sedan, get a dog barrier which will allow it to ride safely in the back. If you drive something else, you can get a transporter box or a dog cage. They come in all sizes and your dog will feel the safest in them. Transporter box (cage) is an excellent solution not only for driving, but when you take breaks as well, because dog can rest or sleep calmly.
Don’t feed the dog before your trip
Some dogs are prone to motion sickness and vomiting while riding in a car. So, don’t feed the dog before the trip, but only when the trip is over and it gets some rest. You can give it moderate amounts of water, though. Don’t forget to bring an extra dish and fresh water bottle with you.
Take breaks while driving long distances
We all need a rest during long driving, and the same goes for dogs, especially when they’re riding in a transporter box. Given the fact that conditions alongside the road are not always ideal it’s best to take the dog out of the car on a long leash. Flexi leash is a great option because the dog can walk safely before continuing the journey.
Be careful when it comes to the temperature inside the car
If you take your dog for a ride during summer, it is necessary for the car to have air conditioning. Dogs can easily suffer a heat stroke, and heated car is, unfortunately, the perfect place for this to happen. Even if the car is air-conditioned, avoid driving when the sun is the brightest, but travel early in the morning or later in the afternoon instead.
When the temperature outside is around 25 degrees C (77 degrees F), the ride is much easier for the dog, and air conditioning isn’t crucial. However, it is necessary that the dog has plenty of fresh air, so it is important to lower the car window a little. This should be enough for the fresh and cool air to get in, but not for your dog to stick its head out of the window.
Practice makes it perfect
In order to make your dog completely used to the car and travelling, it will take a lot of patience and practice. In the beginning, the rides should last for 5 to 10 minutes, and when you notice that your dog is ready for the next step, drive a little longer. When the dog gets out of the car, play with it for a bit, so that it realizes that there’s something pleasant waiting for it, after the ride.
Travelling with your dog can be fun for both of you. The most important thing is to be well prepared for the trip. The better you do your homework, the less unpleasant surprises there will be on the road. Do not forget to provide your best friend with lots of activities and necessary dog accessories. Be kind and peaceful and your dog will respond in the same manner. A calm dog is the best companion.
Have a nice trip!
Diana Smith is a part time blogger and a great car lover. In her free time she enjoys visiting car shows and reading about latest car technology.