There are certainly many reasons why you may need to take your dog for a ride in the car, and regardless of whether you’re heading out on a road trip or simply taking your dog to the nearest park, there are a few key things you’ll need to consider whenever you’re taking your dog for a trip in a vehicle.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the key things you’ll need to know.
How To Keep Your Dog Secure
While humans primarily rely on seat belts to stay safe and secure while they’re in a car, the human seat belt isn’t particularly well-suited for a dog.
Because of this fact, it’s wise to invest in a traveling harness that’ll keep your dog safe and secure while in the car. Not only will a quality harness make sure your dog isn’t thrown around when you accelerate and brake, but it also means your dog won’t be able to jump into the front seats or otherwise distract the driver, which can be very dangerous indeed.
Firstly, there are various harness seat belts as well as zip line harnesses which can connect in a variety of different configurations to keep your dog secure.
Another alternative is to use a dog travel carrier that’ll make sure your dog is comfortable and relaxed while in the car.
If you have several dogs or a larger vehicle, then fitting a vehicle pet barrier across the entire boot of your car can be a suitable option, or you may like to try a car seat hammock that’s ideal for larger dogs who need more space.
Of course, using a hammock or dog car seat cover helps to stop your dog falling into the footwells, and it’ll generally go a long way toward keeping your car clean and tidy once you’ve removed the cover.
You could also consider investing in dog booster seat that helps to keep your dog in a better-secured position, and these seats and carriers work very well when it comes to smaller breeds.
Additionally, it’s best to keep your dog in the back seat whenever possible, as this prevents them from interfering with you when you’re driving, and it also means they will not be exposed to the impact of an airbag if your car was to be involved in a collision, as the airbag could cause a lot of trouble for your dog in this scenario.
Do Dogs Get Motion Sickness?
Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that dogs can experience motion sickness in the same way as humans can, and this is certainly something you need to think about if you’re taking your dog for a long trip.
The best thing to do if you’re going to be taking a long trip with your dog is to not feed your dog for several hours before departure, as well as ensuring the last meal they do have before the trip is on the lighter side.
Furthermore, there are various treatments that you may be able to obtain from a vet, and these can help to relax your dog and counter the motion sickness they may be feeling. However, it’s very important that you obtain dog-specific medication from a qualified professional rather than using anything that’s designed for humans.
One way to get your dog used to car travel if they often suffer from motion sickness is to take them on frequent, smaller trips which allows them to acclimatize to the unique sensations that being in a car can cause. (It can work for humans, too).
Don’t Leave Your Dog Alone In The Car
It’s safe to say that you should aim to take your dog with you if you’re exiting your vehicle for any length of time, and if this isn’t possible, then it’s useful to have someone else with you who can entertain your dog or let them stretch their legs outside.
Furthermore, it’s very important to never leave a dog alone in the car on a warm day, as your dog can very quickly suffer from heat stroke in these conditions, and it can happen faster than many owners realize.
Tips For Taking Your Dog In The Car
- While it may be tempting to give your dog treats during the journey, it is best not to do this if the car is moving, because a sudden acceleration or slowdown could cause them to choke.
- Don’t let your dog hang their head out of the window because this will quickly dry your dog’s eyes and could cause other issues.
- Having the air conditioner on and generally keeping the car well ventilated will help to keep your dog cool, and this is very important on warmer days.
- Take frequent breaks that allow your dog to stretch their legs, get some activity, and relieve themselves if needed. Regular breaks are particularly important if your dog is getting restless and agitated after being in the car for a long time.
- Make sure to invest in the right products when you’re taking your dog in a car. Regardless of whether you choose a dog seatbelt/harness combo, booster seat, travel carrier, or any other option, it’s very important that you use something that will secure your dog safely, rather than merely putting them in the back seat and hoping for the best.