Safe Car Trips For Dogs
Before driving anywhere, acclimatise your dog to the car’s environment. Secure them in a designated spot and check they are unable to reach you before you head off. It can be dangerous fending off things like slobbery kisses and swinging tails while you are supposed to be watching the road. Safety harnesses secured with seatbelts are a good choice and a travel crate is even better when keeping them in their designated spot.
Some dogs enjoy a car ride but make sure they don’t get too excited and cause a distraction to you or impair visibility while driving. Keep praise to a minimum, a gentle tone is fine but don’t encourage them to become excited. Encourage family members to not get the dog hyped up during travel. Your dog will appreciate the calm atmosphere during the trip.
Excited dogs can injure themselves if they get tangled in seatbelts or their heads become wedged in areas like between the front seats and interior walls. Their bodies can get stuck between the backseat and the cargo bay of a station wagon if there is no barrier.
Save the praise for your destination. Doing this reinforces the overall car ride as a good experience since the dogs’ behaviour during the entire trip is what matters.
Don’t allow your dog to put any part of its body out the window. This stops the dog getting hit in busy traffic and inhibits bugs and debris from getting into their eyes. Removable window grills are available to let the dog smell the world as it travels. Don’t allow your dog to bark or lunge at passing vehicles, people or animals.
If your pet decides to sleep during the trip, don’t worry. This can be good. Sleeping dogs make better travelers as they don’t distract the driver, don’t impair visibility, unlikely to get sick and are calmer on arrival.
rive responsibly, remembering that sudden take off and breaking can throw your dog off balance causing them to hit the seat in front of them or lose their footing. A secured travel crate reduces the risk of this happening.
Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle especially during hot days. They could not only die of heat stroke but accidentally disengage the handbrake or knock the gear shift lever. Never leave a dog and young children in a car.
At your destination, get the dog to sit and stay before getting out. Attach their leash then invite the dog to calmly come out of the vehicle. Never let your dog out first before any people or let it take itself out of the car. Letting them dart out can get them run over by oncoming traffic, their foot catching in seatbelts and if on a leash, strangled if it gets snagged. Sometimes, dogs can damage their spine if they leap out and crash land from high set vehicles like four wheel drives.
If taking a long road trip, leave the journey a few hours after their usual feed or adjust the mealtime if on an early departure, especially if it has a sensitive stomach. If a dog is sick in the car it can result in being a negative experience for them and they may not want to get back in. It’s also unpleasant for you when dealing with the lingering, sickly effect on your upholstery. Take a toilet break regularly to relieve any stress on your dog and let them walk around a little to counteract any stiffness from being confined during the journey.
A good travel routine will be beneficial at times of emergency. Staying in control of the situation will only make for a pleasant ride. Don't hesitate to contact us for information on safe travel for your pet and remember there are travel crates and harnesses available in our Petiquette store.