When the whole family is going for a holiday, or even just a day trip, many families like to include their dogs in the expedition. After all, why should only people get all of the fun? Most dogs love a car ride but a few may need to be trained and conditioned for it. Start gradually with short rides and they will become accustomed to it over time – at which point you can safely start to increase the time and distance of each trip.
This Groodle loves to go for car rides but should be kept inside the car for his own safety.
Keep dogs restrained in the car
Dogs who are free to jump around inside the car while travelling are in danger of becoming injured. Train her to lie down on the back seat so they are unlikely to fall should you need to break all of a sudden. If she is travelling with you in a two seater vehicle, then have her lie down in the passenger seat next to you.
It’s important to mention that no dogs should be travelling with you unrestrained while in the back of a ute. Many a dog owner has reached the end of their journey only to realize that their trusty companion is no longer with them. Even tied up they are at risk of hanging themselves if thrown free, or may sustain serious (and possibly preventable injury) in the event of an accident.
Dog safety products
There are quite a few companies who manufacture accessories for your vehicle to make travelling with pets a lot easier and safer. Pet barriers work well for minivans, wagons, or SUVs which give your pet room to stretch their legs while they remain safely constrained behind the rear seat. A harness or restraint may suit some dogs, but look for one that allows your dog the freedom to sit or lie down. Beds from home will provide a level of security and comfort for your pet but you could also consider getting one specifically for the vehicle. Older dogs will also appreciate a ramp that allows them to get into and out of the vehicle without the need to jump if they are too big to be lifted into the car.
Dogs and open windows
Dogs are a lot like little kids and love the feel of the air rushing past them as they stick their heads of an open window. Of course, this is very unsafe, so ensure your windows are not wound down far enough for them to do this. This is even truer for smaller dogs who may be able to jump through a window should it be left open.
Long trips require a little planning. You will need to carry a bowl and some water, a lead, and some snacks for your dog. Every couple of hours have a rest stop, let the animal stretch its legs (and you as well), and have a bit of a snack before resuming the trip.