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Taking Your Dog On A Car Trip

One of the greatest delights in owning a dog is taking them with you on a car trip.  To get the best enjoyment out of it while keeping everyone safe and organised, read on.  I highly recommend printing out the summary list at the end, and keep it handy for each trip.

  • Get your dog used to car travel by starting with shorter trips and gradually increase the distance over time.
  • Remember to pack the essentials:

    • Water Bowl and water
      Bring bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an area he’s not used to could result in tummy upset for your pet.
    • Your dog’s regular food
    • Treats for good behaviour
    • Medications
    • Collar, leash and poop bags
    • Updated tags
    • Medical records and vaccination certificates (especially rabies)
    • Grooming supplies and a towel
    • A kennel
    • Dog bed and/or blankets
    • Favorite toys

A car organizer for your dog is also a great idea, for all those necessities that your dog may need during the drive.

  • Feed your dog at least 4 hours before the trip, but plenty of water right up to the time you leave.

  • Give them their own dedicated comfortable space in the car.

  • Keep your dog restrained and safe in the car.

    Recommended – EzyDog Dog Car Harness – the next generation dog safety harness.  It is just one of the few dog car harnesses that have actually been crash tested.
    It is worth remembering that, as with humans, in a serious car accident, if not properly restrained, your innocent pet can become a projectile causing injury or death to itself and other occupants of the car.

  • Avoid treats and food while on the move.

    Why? Believe it or not, but dogs, like humans, can choke by eating in a bumpy car.

Treat only during a break in the trip.  Treats are a great way to reward your dog for behaving well.  It is not a good idea to feed them too many treats on an ad hoc basis, just like us humans with sweets and lollies.

I often use these for a good chew as they are loved by dogs and also kind to their digestion.

Alternatively, for the quick reward, these are very popular.

  • Don’t allow your dog to stick his head out of the window.

    The best part of a car ride for your dog is feeling the breeze in their furry faces as they stick their head out the window. But, despite the feel-good nature of this pleasurable experience, it’s actually a very dangerous habit.

In the early days of automobiles, most cars did not have windshields and their top speed was approximately 45 mph. Given those conditions, drivers wore goggles to protect their eyes. Now that we have windshields to protect us, you wouldn’t consider sticking your unprotected head out the window at 45 mph. Then why let your dog?

Allowing your dog to let it stick its head out the window is a very dangerous habit. Their eyes are exposed to dirt, rocks, dust and other debris. These materials can easily puncture and scratch your dog’s eyes. A line of pet goggles have come out which are to help prevent these types of injuries. However, even if you can train your dog not to paw them off his head, there are still many other dangers when your dog’s head is out the window while driving.

A good article on this topic can be found here.

  • Prepare to stop more often than usual to allow your dog to stretch his legs and relieve itself.

  • Pick up after your dog.

    Picking up after your dog isn’t exactly the most enjoyable chore. Let’s face it — it’s gross! It can be tempting to skip this task, but doing so is not only bad for the environment and public health — in many places, it’s also illegal. Keep reading for all of the reasons you really do need to pick up your dog’s poop.

    • It’s Required by Law
    • Dog Poop Is Not Fertilizer
    • It’s an Environmental Pollutant
    • It Carries Diseases
    • It Can Overwhelm the Ecosystem
    • It Smells Bad
    • It’s Common Courtesy

A good article on this is provided by HillsPet:  https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/resources/picking-up-dog-poop

Best-selling poop bags are these by Pet N Pet which are earth-friendly:  Pet N Pet Poop Bags with dispenser  

  • Don’t leave your dog in the car.

    Unattended dogs die in hot cars far too frequently. According to the RSPCA, you can lose your best mate in just six minutes, even if your windows are down or your car is in the shade. This is because, aside from through their foot pads, dogs don’t sweat so they are highly susceptible to heatstroke. Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent your dog experiencing heatstroke by ensuring you never leave them in a car unattended.

Other points worth considering

  • Be aware of wildlife

  • Bring a copy of your dog’s vaccination record

  • Have up-to-date dog tags

  • Use positive reinforcement & reward your dog with treats, such as Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Beef & Filet Mignon
  • Always give your dog access to water
  • Keep a chuck-it in your car
  • Find out where the local dog parks are in the areas you’re visiting
  • Find out where the local vet clinics are in the areas you’re visiting
  • Bring a collapsible crate for your hotel stays
  • Know your car is going to get dirty
  • Know the regulations in your destination
  • Bring a recent photo of your dog
  • Buy or make a dog first-aid kit
  • Make sure your dog is micro chipped before you leave town
  • Teach your dog to go to the toilet on cue
  • Download a dog first-aid app

 

Summary list of things to take:

  • Harness / crate
  • Water Bowl and water
    Bring bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an area he’s not used to could result in tummy upset for your pet.
  • Your dogs regular food
  • Medications
  • Poop Bags
  • Updated tags, a collar, and a leash
  • Medical records and vaccination certificates (especially rabies)
  • Grooming supplies and a towel
  • A kennel
  • Dog bed and/or blankets
  • Favorite toys
  • Vaccination record
  • Up-to-date dog tags
  • Chuck-it
  • Collapsible crate
  • Recent photo of your dog
  • Dog first-aid kit
  • Dog first-aid app

Have a great trip!

 

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