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How to travel by car with your dog?

Author: The DogsPlanet.com Team

The dog can easily get used to the car

The car is a simple, safe and low stress mode of transportation for your dog, provided he is already used to it. If he is not, take him on a few short rides in the car before the trip to familiarize him with the driving environment and help him feel safe on the actual journey.

The trip by car is generally pleasant because it is possible to make stops to walk, play a little, relax, drink water and relieve oneself (don’t forget the small dog poop bags).

In general, dogs love car rides.

Precautions to take when travelling by car with your dog

Certain precautions must be taken to avoid that the dog comes and goes in the car and the risk of him getting sick if he does not keep still in the vehicle.

Here are some techniques to help your dog enjoy the car trip:

  • Use a crate, carrier bag, cage, harness or leash
  • Secure the carrier or other items to prevent it from falling or moving
  • Place the carrier or other items high enough to limit vibrations
  • If you use a leash, use it without a muzzle to allow the dog to breathe freely
  • Place the dog in the back seat of the car
  • Avoid food two or three hours before departure to limit the risk of vomiting
  • Protect the car seats with a plastic cover
  • Medicate the dog for stress (if necessary only)

Essential rules when travelling by car with your dog

tips travel car dog

Never leave the dog alone in the car

Dehydration and heat are two important factors during car trips. Even for a short time and even if it is not very hot, you should never leave a dog alone in a car.

In a few minutes, the car can turn into a real oven for the animal. The dog then goes into shock that can lead to heart problems or even death in a short time.

Heat stroke is often fatal in dogs, but it is very easy to avoid.

Beware of traffic jams

If the car does not have air conditioning, the dog can quickly get heat stroke. If the traffic jam seems endless, making a short stop and getting out of the car for a little walk with the dog while waiting for traffic to clear is often the best option.

Never put the dog in the trunk of the car

Under no circumstances should you put your pet in the trunk where he could suffer from claustrophobia or even die due to the potential asphyxiation that can sometimes be caused by exhaust fumes.

Open the window

To allow air to circulate, the window can be left ajar, but make sure that the dog’s head cannot get through it to avoid conjunctivitis, ear infections, irritations and colds.

Take breaks

Every two hours or so, take a short break that is beneficial to both the owner and the dog.

Always have the dog on a leash during breaks

Always keep the dog on a leash at every stop. At each stage of the journey, the smells will be different and may sometimes be very tempting for the animal, leading him to break the rules normally well assimilated and easily respected in the family home.

A new environment brings its own share of excitement and the dog can sometimes be less obedient. The leash prevents the dog from running around in a completely foreign territory, unknown to both the master and the dog.

You have to be very careful when opening the doors to prevent him from suddenly running away, especially if the stop is on a busy road.

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