Too many of us, our dogs are an extension of the family and go wherever we go.
In fact, a recent survey shows that six out of 10 Americans take their dogs for a joy ride at least once a month. Half of these admit that their dog distracts them while driving.
Avoid the dangers of traveling with dogs in cars with these five doggy travel tips.
Safety Issues When Traveling With Dogs in Cars
No matter how well-behaved your dog is, an unrestrained dog in a car is a bad idea.
Should you have an accident, you could be seriously injured if a heavy dog is flung towards you on impact. Not to mention the injuries your pet might sustain.
1. How to Restrain Your Dog in the Car
For long distance travel, a ventilated pet crate is the safest way for a dog to ride in a car, train, bus or plane.
It pays to get your pet used to their travel crate before you embark on your journey. Place some familiar toys and a comfortable blanket or cushion inside the crate so they feel right at home inside.
Secure the crate firmly in the back seat or trunk of the vehicle.
Larger dogs can travel safely with a harness that straps onto a seat belt. Have a few practice-runs to familiarise your dog with the drill before setting off on a long journey.
There are some dogs, like Yorkies, that are so small that they can travel everywhere in your handbag. If that sounds like the kind of dog that suits your style, read more about this breed.
2. ID is Imperative
Microchip your dog and engrave or write your contact details onto a tag and attach it to your dog’s collar during transit.
If your dog panics during a pitstop and gets away from you, or if you’re involved in an accident, this will help anyone who finds the dog to get it to safety.
On long trips, take their veterinary records along. These will come in handy if they need any treatment during your trip. For interstate journeys, you must have proof of their rabies shots too.
3. Important Items
Other essentials for traveling with dogs include a leash, poop scoop, plastic bags, and a basic first-aid kit.
If your dog is a nervous soul, keep some homeopathic calming drops handy in case they have a meltdown en route.
Bring a bottle of water from home on your trip, then you won’t have to find water for your dog when you stop for a break.
4. Extra Touches
A pet travel back seat barrier will stop your dog from trying to join you in the front seat or putting their head over your shoulder.
Placing a rubber cover over your back seat is the best way to travel with a dog if you aren’t sure whether their house training extends to your vehicle.
5. Common Sense
Don’t let your dog travel with its head out the window. As much as dogs love this, a passing object could strike them in the face.
That said, wind down the window a little so that they have plenty of fresh air. Do not leave your dog locked in a stationary car – ever.
The Bottom Line
When you take these few precautions, traveling with dogs in cars can be effortless and enjoyable.
Take the time to make your pet comfortable and safe and you can enjoy many happy journeys together.
Keep reading the travel section of our blog for more ways to make the most of any trip, with or without your pets.