Whether it's to the local grocery store or a long road trip, dog lovers enjoy riding with their canine companions. But traveling can be highly stressful, both for you and your animal companions. With thoughtful preparation, you can provide a safe and comfortable trip for everyone. Here's a few tips that will help you ensure safe car travel with your dog.
Use a crate or carrier
Keep your dog safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier that can been anchored to the vehicle using a seatbelt or other secure means. Make sure it's large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. It's a great idea to get your pet used to the carrier in the comfort of your home before your trip. Doggie seatbelts and restraints can be useful, although they haven't been shown to protect your dog if there was an accident.
Don't leave your pet unattended in a car
Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle, even on a temperate day. The temperature inside a car can reach 30 degrees higher than the temperature outside. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time. Dogs who are exposed to prolonged or intense heat can suffer from organ damage, heatstroke or even death.
Things to bring
Pack appropriate supplies for your dog when taking a long car trip or even a short ride. Bring water, treats, his collar and leash, some of your dogs favorite chew toys, and plastic bags for waste.
No heads outside the window
Don't allow your pet to ride with its head outside the window. Your canine companion should always be kept safely inside the car. When a dog hangs it head out of the window they are at risk of injury to their eyes, nose, ears, mouth and face from airborne debris. Also, when dogs ride with their head outside the window cold air is forced into your dogs and could make them sick.
Stop for breaks
If you are going on a long road trip, make sure that you stop every hour or so and go for a quick walk. This will provide a chance for your dog to eliminate. Taking him on short walks allows your pet to stretch their legs and it curbs boredom. Remember, if you stop by the highway your dog MUST be on a leash for his own safety.
No riding shotgun
Keep your pet in the back seat of the car. If an airbag deployed while your pet was in the passenger seat (even in a crate), it might injure your pet.