Whether you are planning on a long road trip or just a short drive around the corner, traveling in the car with your much-loved pooch should be a great deal of fun for both you and your dog. With some pre-planning and being aware of the dangers you can keep both your dog and the occupants of the car safe whilst being out and about. This article will provide you with some great tips and ideas about the best way to safely transport your dog and to decrease the risks inherent when riding in the vehicle with your pet.
1. Using Crash Tested Crates
A suitably designed crate can be a great choice to ensure your pet's safety during a trip. However, it is very important to pick the right size crate for your dog and one that is designed for car travel. A crate that is made from aluminium and vinyl reinforced with fiberglass are much more preferable to many other types as they are much stronger and durable. You should also pay attention to the layout of the crate to make sure your dog will be comfortable and importantly have plenty of airflow.
A crate that also has lots of insulation from the heat will ensure that your dog is comfortable. Quality is often a much better choice over cost when you and your dog’s safety is at risk. You can also get crates these days with wreck bags to make transporting your dog even safer as they provide an additional layer of protection in case of a car accident.
2. A Dog Car Safety Harness
While a crate can be a great choice some dogs will find it distressing to be locked up in a container and want to have more freedom to sit on the seats in your car. A well-designed quality car harness for your dog can often be a good solution.
These days you can get all types of dog harnesses designed to restrain your dog's movements in the car to keep them safe. One that securely harnesses your dog and then snaps into your seat belts are a viable solution. Shop around and I'm sure that you will find one that fits your size dog.
3. Offer Yourself and Your Dogs a Break
Going for a trip with a dog in the car is like travelling with a child. Even if it is not a particularly long trip it is advisable to stop every couple of hours to let them get out of the car, walk around and take care of business.
While this adds time to your trip it makes sure that the whole experience for both you and your dog is much more pleasurable.
4. Turn off power windows
If you've got a vehicle with power windows, then it is quite simple for your dog to open them by pressing on the switch with their paws inadvertently. You may believe this can be comparatively benign, particularly if your pet loves to stick her or his head out of the window, however, overexcited dogs have been known to leap from moving cars which would be horrific. There is also the concern that they could accidentally trigger the window mechanism while they have their head out of the window which could cause damage to their throat and face.
5. Bring Water and a bowl
Dogs require frequent access to water. This is even more essential when on a road trip where the temperature inside a car on a hot day can be excessive. You never know what may happen, the car may break down for example or you may get delayed for other reasons and so it always a good idea to have some water and a dog bowl handy in the trunk of your car.
The very best approach to make sure you have water available would be to keep a bottle in the car as part of your emergency kit. A bowl can also be fine, but at a pinch, allowing your dog to drink from your cupped hands is just fine and in my experience the dog has no problem doing that.
You should also be aware that often there are local laws that ensure that your dog must be suitably restrained while they are in a car. Certainly, most states don't allow the dog to be sitting in your lap while you are driving and never leave you dog in the car for extended periods during the warmer months.
With a little thought and preparation travelling with your dog can be a great experience for all concerned.