Before traveling in a car with your pet, do you have all the necessary tools?
Your dog/cat must not remain free in the car, he should be confined adequately.
If you have a small dog, it can stay in the carrier, whereas if you have a large dog, you can use a kennel in the trunk or a dividing net.
Despite the concern of many owners, carriers are seen by dogs as a shelter.
Moreover, a carrier will keep you and your dog safe in the eventuality of an accident.
It is essential to get your dog used to the carrier from when he is a puppy.
If he is an adult, you should gradually integrate it into his life.
How can you get him used to it? When you’re at home, place some snacks in the carrier.
This will help your furry friend not to feel anxious about this object.
After a few days, you can place it in the car without turning on the vehicle, as soon as the dog is ready, you can start driving for short distances.
If you do not want to use the carrier or if you are unable to get your dog used to it, you can either use a seatbelt for dogs or a dividing net which will separate the trunk from the front of the car.
Seatbelts will constrain the dog’s movement.
However, it is mostly suitable for small dogs or for short trips. On the other hand, if you opt for a net, your dog will be allowed to move in the trunk and to choose the most comfortable position.
Nets are useful for old dogs who need more space in order to find comfort and support.
However, always remember to get your dog used to traveling by car gradually, and occasionally reward him with a snack.
Dogs can become a real nightmare when they are traveling by car.
So, if you only want to live happy holidays in your dog’s company, teach him good manners straight away.
In fact, there is nothing worse than traveling with a restless dog or with a dog that endangers his own life or the life of his owners. Here are a few manners that your dog needs to learn:
Teach Your Dog How To Get In The Car
By law, dogs must travel in the rear compartment of the car or in the trunk (divided by a net or by a grid).
As soon as he is in front of your car, put on his leash.
Open the car’s door/trunk and command ‘stop/stay.’ If he is not listening, let him come back calmly, close the door and start again until he learns how to stand still in front of the open door waiting for your sign.
When you are ready, say ‘go’ and encourage him to enter the car. If he is not wearing a leash, rewarding him with a treat.
Repeat the exercise many times, until you can remove the leash while he patiently waits for you to say ‘go.’
Teach Your Dog How To Get Out Of The Car
Now, here comes the tough part: you must teach your dog how to get out of the car diligently.
Attach the leash to the collar while the dog is still in the car.
Open the door and say ‘stop.’ If he listens to you, give him the command ‘go.’ If he doesn’t listen to you, say ‘no,’ shut the door and start again.
Reward your dog only if he gets out of the car calmly, without getting excited or running away to go play. If your dog is in the trunk and is therefore unreachable from inside the car, you can only put the leash on him after opening the tailgate.
In this case, you should give him the command ‘stay/stop’ before opening the door.
Make sure that your dog heard your command clearly (turn off the radio/music in the car while you are talking to him).
Now, open the trunk: if your furry friend stays where he is, put the leash on and give him the command to ‘go.’
Otherwise, close it and start over. Repeat the exercise until he is doing it right.
Practice In An Area Where There Is No Traffic
If he’s doing this exercise for the first time, practice in an area where there is no traffic.
Alternatively, you can leave your dog on the leash.
The tendency of all dogs is that of jumping out of the car before you can grasp their collar (this is especially true if they have not been trained with ‘stop/stay,’ or if they are still in the process of learning).
Keep the leash on while you are training him.
However, never allow your dog to travel with a leash attached to his collar, it can be perilous and can cost his life!
Let’s face it: your pet needs his personalized suitcase or bag, but make sure you take:
These objects will allow your dog to maintain his own routine: it will grant him greater relaxation and serenity even in a new place.
Prepare Your Dog For The Journey
Before leaving, it is essential to physically and psychologically prepare your dog.
In fact, try getting him used to longer and longer journeys in the car.
Don’t forget to feed him at least four hours before departure (this will prevent him from feeling nauseous and vomiting while on the route).
Before getting into the car, it might be useful to take a long, calming, and reassuring walk.
Then, place him in his carrier and give him his favorite toy).
The Temperature Within The Car
Once you’re in the car, for the well-being of your dog, you will have to maintain a constant temperature.
Avoid switching the temperature from hot to cold and vice versa.
Also, remember that it is forbidden to leave your dog alone in the passenger compartment with closed or half-closed windows.
This could turn into a deadly trap for your furry friend.
Dogs and Car Sickness
Sure, summer is here, and now you feel like you want to go on holiday, start exciting trips, and go on adventures.
But you ask yourself…’ can my dog handle the journey’?
There may be a possibility that your dog suffers from car sickness.
Don’t worry, it is normal for dogs to feel nauseous in the car.
According to some estimates, almost half (48%) of adult dogs feel sick while traveling in the car.
As you can see, this is a persistent problem that can have considerable repercussions both on your pet’s well-being and your own.
In fact, although 58% of car owners with a dog that suffers from motion sickness, continue to travel despite the symptoms, only one-third of them (34%) reveal that they would travel more often if their pet didn’t have this problem.
However, only a tiny percentage asks the veterinarian what the possible solutions are.
In short, most people who have this problem don’t do anything about it.
The most obvious thing to do in these cases is to tackle the problem with the help of experts who have the knowledge and tools to solve it.
How Can You Tell If Your Dog Is Suffering From Car Sickness?
The symptoms are similar those us humans experience:
Besides, the dog could repeatedly lick its lips or cry and complain throughout the journey.
Yet, the symptoms are very subjective, and it is not said that all these symptoms occur together.
For example, some dogs simply vomit without showing any other signs of discomfort beforehand.
In any case, if your four-legged friend shows one or more of these symptoms while you are driving, he is very likely to suffer from car sickness.
What Can You Do To Help Your Pet?
If your dog suffers from car sickness, you should know that there are effective remedies and preventive strategies.
It is therefore not necessary to stop taking your furry friend with you: you don’t even need to change or limit your habits or travel plans.
However, there are some things that you need to do:
Avoid feeding your dog in the hours before your departure: food could encourage motion sickness and make your dog feel uncomfortable, eventually leading him to vomit.
Make sure you keep the environment in the car pleasant: keep the volume of the music at a reasonable level (playing classical music could help), and avoid any situations that could cause stress and anxiety.
Veterinarians now have various products that can prevent motion sickness in dogs.
Some of these medicines were first formulated for humans and were subsequently adapted for pets.
However, these drugs can function as a sedative even after the journey.
There are also some medicines that do not have unpleasant effects once you arrive at your destination.
Your vet will be able to advise you on the most suitable product for your dog and his needs.
Bear in mind that all drugs must be taken a few hours before departure; read the package leaflet carefully.
During The Trip
Secure Him In A Carrier Or In The Trunk To Prevent Sickness
When traveling in the car, your dog must be placed inside of his carrier which will prevent the movement of the vehicle from shaking him and making him jump from one seat to another.
He cannot face a long route lying next to the passenger’s feet or in the back seat.
He must be protected. The pet carrier has a calming effect on your dog since it relieves him from anxiety and stress.
However, it also protects him in the event of an accident.