Does your dog jump with excitement when he hears the jingle of your car keys? Most dogs love car rides. It exposes them to new sights, sounds and scents, stimulating their canine instinct while creating a fun-filled adventure in the process. Whether you're driving across country or to the pet store down the road, there are a few things you should know about how to travel with dogs.
Bring a Leash
Some owners neglect to bring a leash when taking their dog on car rides, believing they won't need it. However, there are two important reasons to bring one: first, you may need to walk your dog if the trip is long, in which case a leash is a necessary item to prevent your canine companion from running away. Second, it's a good idea to keep a leash on hand in case your car breaks down or you get into an accident.
Bring Food, Water and Medication
Other items you'll want to bring when traveling with your dog include food, water and medication. Even if you're going on a short trip right across town, it's still a good idea to bring these items. After all, you never know if something will happen that leaves you and your dog stranded. So, bring a few baggies full of dog food, your dog's favorite treats, some bottles of water, two bowls, and any medication that your dog is currently taking.
Restrain Your Dog
According to a joint survey conducted by AAA and Kurgo, 84% of owners don't use a restraint when taking their dog on road trips. Rather, they allow their dog to roam free in the front or back seat. Some owners believe a restraint isn't necessary because their dog is calm, while others believe it isn't necessarily because they are driving short distances. Just like a seat belt protects us from potentially fatal injury, however, restraints protect dogs.
Some of the most common types of dog restraints used in cars include:
- Crate: You place your dog in the crate, after which you can secure to the seat using your car's seat belt.
- Barriers: These are partition-like walls used to separate the front seat of your car from the back seat. Unfortunately, they offer minimal protection from injury.
- Seat Belt Harness: These are special harnesses that you secure to your car's seat belt.
- Doggie Booster Seat: Designed for small breeds, doggie booster seats provide a simple solution for restraining your canine companion.
Finally, you should observe how your dog reacts to car rides. While most enjoy traveling, some may develop extreme anxiety. If your dog is anxious of car rides, try playing with them before getting in the car. If you're able to exhaust his energy, he should be calmer and more docile during the trip.
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