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Dog in the car

dog plays with a dog toy

Travelling with a four-legged friend is a widespread phenomenon. It doesn’t matter if we want to move for a few hours or a few days, whether we go together to a park a little more distant or in a larger group abroad – for our pet, it is an unusual experience.

A step-by-step guide to travelling by car with your dog

We can travel with virtually any means of transport with our dog – from a bicycle to a train, even on an airplane. Due to the convenience, we usually decide to travel by car. To ensure the safety of our pet during the journey, you should adequately prepare the means of transport. Driving a car can be very stressful for a dog. Even if he is very calm and balanced daily, you should not expect him to behave the same during the journey. In addition, we can never predict what will happen to us on the road, so it is necessary to ensure maximum safety for passengers.

How to prepare for a car ride with your dog

Before embarking on the first journey with our pet, we should prepare it well in advance. A dog that has never been in contact with a car before should be able to get used to it. If we know that we will travel with the dog for several hours, let’s take him for short trips around the area a few times beforehand.

Giving up larger dog meals is also recommended before we start the journey. Stress associated with new stimuli can cause digestive problems in a dog. In this case, it is better to feed your pet only after reaching your destination. Dogs, just like people, can get motion sickness. In this case, before driving the car, you should give your pet medicine to minimise discomfort.

The same way of transporting a dog in a car is crucial for his safety. On the market, you can find many accessories helpful when transporting a quadruped. Many people choose special dog carriers for this purpose. It should be matched directly to the dog’s dimensions and firmly attached to the back seat. In the case of larger dogs, transporting them can be a bit more cumbersome. A good solution is to fasten them directly to the seat belts in the back seat using a special harness. Folding mats, so-called hammocks, are also often used, mounted between the front and rear backrests. Thanks to this, the dog does not move around the entire car; we do not have to worry about paw prints on the upholstery.

During the trip

Remember to take a break every 1.5 hours. Let the dog out of the car and walk for a few minutes. We make sure that our pet gets enough water during the ride. You shouldn’t limit the water because of the frequent stops. It’s better to plan more time for the entire trip than to make your dog thirsty.

When driving with a dog passenger, try to go slower than travelling alone to save your dog stress. Avoid too sharp turns or hard braking. Also, do not open expansive windows to allow your dog to jump out of the car.

The dog will feel safer if another passenger sits in the back seat with him. If this is not possible, try to talk to the dog while driving. He will feel our presence, which will reduce his nervousness and anxiety. If you want your dog to feel more comfortable while driving, do not forget to take his favourite toy with you, it will make his travelling time more pleasant.

A dog in the car doesn’t have to hinder your journey. Appropriate preparation for a joint trip will allow you to maintain driving comfort for the owner and his pet. Travelling together with a dog is a challenge but also a great experience. Let’s not avoid them because they strengthen the bond between the pet and the owner.

Author: Klaudia, great dog lover

The dog by my side teaches me to enjoy every moment and to perceive each subsequent day as a chance for a new, wonderful adventure. While looking for my soul mate, I found it in a dog's wise eyes.

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