Letting your dog share your next road adventure with you is an exciting thought. But as always, there are numerous things to consider during the preparation period. First off, think about how your pet is going to behave when they are confined in a moving vehicle. Consider their temperament when taking short rides or imagine how they’ll do in long haul trips. That way, you’ll be able to prepare for that much awaited car ride with your furry friend.
See below other helpful suggestions to give you and your furry best friend that much-needed trip together.
Know what to pack
Separate your dog’s belongings from yours. Put them in different bags. Consider these items while on the road:
- Food (don’t forget to include their favorite treats) and food bowl
- Toys for chewing and biting
- Stain/odor remover, paper towels
- Poop bags (the more the better)
- Separate bowl for water
- Seat covers or plastic bags and even old sheets will do
- Crate, makeshift fence or barrier
- If possible, dog safe insect repellents and dog safe sunscreen
- Dog brush
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Tips for a Smooth Ride
Making your dog comfortable during the car ride should be the main objective of every owner who is planning to take them on a trip. Do know that the more experienced a dog is with car rides, the more comfortable he gets with the whole thing. Every expert will tell you that bringing with you a stressed out dog will not result in a pleasant experience at all.
Early introduction to riding cars is a must for every dog owner. Do not ever do it alone when having them sit in a moving vehicle for the first time as they tend to naturally get agitated. Have a trusted someone accompany you instead, that way someone else can help reassure their safety while you are driving.
Pet owners can also consider taking their dogs to short trips in the meantime to get them accustomed to longer ones after. The owners must remain calm as well to give their pets the assurance that they are safe and comfortable.
Things to Consider for the Actual Ride
Deal with car sickness properly
A number of dogs suffer car sickness no matter how near or far the destination is. One effective way to address is to have your dog take their meal before he gets in the car, then take them out for a walk to keep them from getting anxious throughout the trip. Another option is to consult your veterinarian on safe anti-nausea medications that you can have your pet take.
Plan your dog’s meals
Do not think about switching your dog’s usual meals as this might give them an upset stomach, and make sure these are packed with nutrients to keep them in a good mood throughout the trip.
Know when to feed your pet
It is best to feed your dog a minimum of three to four hours before the actual trip. Your dog may get understandably hungry while on the road, so schedule a pit stop and feed him while waiting for a considerable time before setting off again.
Bring familiar items from home
Whether this be their favorite dog blanket, a loved squishy toy, or their pillow, pack this with you and have it near your pet to put him at ease throughout the trip.
Avoiding Road Accidents
Install a GPS tracking device
GPS tracking devices are a perfect way to be able navigate through unfamiliar terrains. This lessens the number of hours spent in the vehicle, in turn, making pet owners and their pets comfortable throughout the ride.
A reliable tracking device like Trackimo is a suitable and cost-effective option available for anyone looking for a reliable GPS tracking system. Not only can you attach this on your vehicle, but you can get a portable one for your pet.
Opt for safety harness or a fence that can keep your dog in place
Just in case you are planning to place them in a crate, make sure the crate is secured in the car to prevent it from sliding around. Think of how hazardous it would be if you suddenly press on the brake or, worse, get it in an actual accident. Securing it in place will be beneficial for both situations as neglecting to do so may result in your pet flying out of the vehicle or you and anyone on the passenger seat getting hit by the crate.
Let them sit in the back seat of the vehicle
This is the same logic as having children in your car. Little kids are recommended to sit in the back in case of accidents as most fatalities result from being killed by an air bag. Other reasons to have dogs sit in the back is to prevent them from being a distraction while you continue to focus on driving.
Never leave your dog alone in the car
Only 15 minutes of being stuck in the car may result in you pet suffering from a brain damage. Leaving them with the windows open is not an option either as the temperature in a car can rise as fast as 10 minutes. According to RSPCA, when it’s 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour. On the other hand, cooler weathers may result in their body freezing due to the cold temperature.
If your vehicle happens to be warmer, make sure you constantly check your dog for signs of overheating and it is recommended that you stop every once in a while to make them breathe fresh air.
Prevent your pet from sticking their head out the window
It is not recommended to have dogs hang their head out the window or place them in the back of a truck. The dangers of doing so include jumping or falling off for both situations. Having them stick their head out of the window is dangerous as they could be inhaling toxic fumes or they cold have their head get hit by any hazardous object on the road.
Having your dog with you on a road trip is a stressful activity but the rewards of them sharing your vacation experience are just as heartwarming. Do make sure that the trip is both enjoyable and comfortable by following the tips indicated above.