The Right Way to Take Your Pet in the Car
When you go on long road trips or just have to drive somewhere, it’s nice to have your pet along. After all, they’re a member of the family and should be treated as such. Plus, some dogs love riding in cars, seeing the sights, and feeling the wind on their faces.
At other times, taking your pet along in the car might be a necessity, such as when you have to take them to the vet. However, bringing an animal into a car, however friendly and trained they might be, is not empty of risk.
You have to know the correct way to make them comfortable and safe. The following tips will help you accomplish just that:
If you have a small or medium-sized pup, a dog car seat might be a good idea. If they like to see the sights, they’d be very happy when strapped safely into a seat and enjoying the view. This way, you can prevent them from distracting you while driving. It would also keep them safe from suddenly leaping out whenever you open a door or window.
Letting your dog stick their head out of a car window is highly dangerous, so be sure to discourage such behavior.
Of course, a waterproof car seat would also be able to contain any accidents that might occur on the trip. Travelling can mess with a dog’s training, so a dog car seat is your best option for protecting the rest of your vehicle.
If your dog is on the larger side, though, you might want to invest in car seat covers for a similar level of protection.
CRATING THE PETS
The most secure way to travel with your pet in a car, however, is to have them safe in a carrier or a dog crate. This should have proper ventilation, along with your choice of hard or soft sides. At all events, such a container should be roomy enough for the dog to stand up in, turn around, and lie back down. Any smaller than that is cruelty.
When you do get the crate in the car, be sure to secure it. This will prevent it from slipping about and possibly harming your pet when in transit. You should also talk to them in a calm voice while they’re in the crate, letting them know you’re nearby and not punishing them.
MAKING THEM COMFORTABLE
You can make things easier for yourself and your pet by getting them used to the carrier right at home. Put their favorite blanket in there, and even have them spend a night or two inside it (with the door unlocked and open) before the trip. This way, they wouldn’t think of the crate or carrier as a sort of punishment.
Some dogs or other sorts of pets might be afraid of cars. In such cases, it’s usually best to take them on very short drives at first, gradually lengthening the amount of time with every drive. You can even reward them with a dog treat at the end of every ride. They would then associate the car ride as something good rather than something to be scared of.
Give your pet just a light meal around 3-4 hours before you go on your long road trip. Moving vehicles could possibly trigger motion sickness in pets, which could result in a huge mess for you to clean up. The stink would be another issue to deal with.
For the same reason, it’s also not advisable to feed your pooch while they’re in a moving car. Those snacks can wait for when you’re at a rest stop or your destination.
The longer distance you’re covering, the more detailed your pet’s traveling kit should be. If they need any medication or are likely to need it during the course of the journey, take it with them.
Also, include a dog leash, a feeding bowl, a dog travel bottle, travel papers, grooming supplies, a dog first-aid kit, and anything else that you’d use to make your pet comfortable. A microchip, collar, or dog GPS tracker for identification are also great ideas for your peace of mind.