Get Your Dog Ready for Car Travel

By on October 23, 2012
pet car safety

Problems can often occur with your dog while traveling in the car. These problems are mostly the result of stress and anxiety, especially if your dog is scared or is not used to being inside a car while the engine is running.

Car travel with your pet may also be a problem if you have a high-strung dog who can’t sit still for a long period of time or if he associates any kind of negative experiences with traveling in the car.

If you have difficulties getting your dog to step into and stay inside the car, the following suggestions may help alleviate his fear and can make the car travel experience fun for both of you. Do these exercises at least a week before going on your long trip.

1. While the car is parked in the driveway, open the back seat and place your dog inside the car. Make sure that the engine is off so as not to scare him while he is inside. Let the dog spend some time alone in the back with a snack, chew bone, or a toy to play with. This will allow him to get used to being inside the car.

The snack, chew bone or toy that you placed there will create a positive experience for him, which will make the car ride more stress-free. Take heed: avoid keeping your dog inside the car for too long in hot weather.

2. Once your dog is comfortable being in the back seat of the car, close the door (with the windows rolled down) and get inside the driver’s seat. Stay there for about a minute while your dog is getting used to the door being closed.

3. Finally, turn on the engine and take him for a short ride, such as a trip around the block. Leave his chew bone and toys inside the car to keep him occupied while he is getting used to being inside the running car. After the short trip, make sure that you give him a good treat, such as playing a game of fetch or taking him for a nice walk.

Repeat the same process, increasing the distance of the trip, until your dog gets to the point where he actually looks forward to riding in the car. You will then be able to drive long distances and through high-noise areas without upsetting your companion.

Nothing is more important than the safety of your furry family members. Just as you buckle your seatbelt in the car, you should also buckle your dog’s. Dog harnesses allow you to properly restrain your dog while traveling in the car. A harness protects by keeping the dog from roaming around the car and distracting the driver. It also keeps the dog from becoming a projectile should you be involved in an accident.

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