Traveling by car with a dog can be a difficult task to perform, especially if you are road tripping, traveling long distances, and spending lots of hours in the car. A ride with a dog can be hard, but not impossible.
Traveling by car with a dog
Some dogs naturally love traveling by car: feeling the air right in the middle of their face, taking long naps in the passenger seat, and enjoying the view. If that is your case, congrats! You are a very lucky pet parent 😊
But if that is not your case, and every time your dog enters your car is a nightmare (me!), don’t worry! There are many tips to follow before a ride with a dog that will help you make it a pleasant experience for everyone.
5 tips to having a safe and enjoyable ride
- Give him a stomach med: If your dog suffers from travel sickness or nausea, and you are planning to spend long hours in the car, you should consider asking the vet for an anti-sickness medicine, like metoclopramide. Its function is to prevent nausea by settling down the stomach. Always consult with your vet and he/she will tell you how much you need to give your pup according to his weight, size, age, needs, medical chart, etc. Besides, you might probably want to avoid feeding him before traveling.
- Get him a dog seat: Just like the driver and the rest of the passengers, your dog needs to be safe. Especially if he likes to sniff and investigate every part of your car, a dog car seat can be safe, useful and comfortable. It’s pretty much like a bed on the go, only safer. You can buy one or rent it, depending on your needs. Alternatively, you can use a harness or a crate if your pup is used to it. Important tip: It doesn't matter how cute, fun or pleasant it is! Never let your dog ride with his head out of the window! A bump on the road or an unexpected turn can throw him out of the car easily and end up severily hurt.
Have his food and drink bowls handy: Even though you are not going to feed your dog in a moving car, it’s very important to stop the car to hydrate your pup every 2 to 3 hours. If the ride is longer than that, then you should consider making a stop to feed him as well.
Never leave him alone in the car: Leaving your dog alone in your car, or in a non-vented area as it can be highly dangerous for him. Not only because he might not be getting enough air, but also because the temperature inside can get either too hot or too cold very rapidly, and your pup can’t turn the AC or heater.
Identify your pup: We can’t stress this enough! Dogs who travel by car can get a little anxious, stressed, and disoriented from being in a car. They can’t possibly know where they are, so they need to carry their ID tag with them just in case anything happens. Even if your pup is highly trained, remember a change of scene can make him feel lost, and he can run away or hide.
Extra tip: Don't forget to carry dog poop bags with you! Picking up our dogs waste whenever and wherever they go is our pet parent responsibility. Try our compostable poop bags made of corn starch, which decompose in only 90 days, leaving no footprint in our planet.
Last but not least, in a ride with a dog, we strongly recommend you to have your dog's leash in handy, just in case. If you decide to make a short stop, it is important for your dog to be on a leash, since they can get scared or nervous and run away. Besides, for your pet's safety, every time you are going to roll down the window, your dog must be on a leash.
What if my dog suffers from anxiety?
Anxiety is a very common condition among dogs, and if that’s your pup’s case, then car rides are probably not pleasant. We recommend you try out Hemp Calming Support an hour before the ride. It comes in tasty treats, it’s easy to digest, it reduces hyperactivity and anxiety, and promotes a balanced behavior.
Ultimately, if you are about to go on a ride with a dog, you should consider taking short breaks and pulling over every 3 hours or so, so you can feed your dog, and both of you can stretch your legs. You can also take some of your pup’s toys or brain games in the car, so he will be entertained and engaged: remember that a bored dog will create his own fun.