Practical Strategies to Prepare Your Dog for a Car Trip

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Summer is a perfect time to spend more quality time with the family. There are many destinations that you can explore for some well-deserved relaxation. A change of scenery can also do wonders for your mental health.

Accommodations and travel destinations are now becoming more pet-friendly. This is good news for those who want to take along their furry companion when traveling. Before entertaining this idea, it is best to enroll your dog in canine training classes. It might prove to be stressful for them to be in a new environment and receive different stimuli. They might find it hard to cope if they do not know some basic obedience skills or some socialization. You would also not want your pet breaking or chewing anything in your accommodations.

Aside from your dog getting some much-needed skills, how can you make traveling easy for them? This might prove to be a challenge especially if it is their first time to do it. Here are some things that you could try so that your dog would have an enjoyable car trip and a fun vacation ahead.

Practice with Them Beforehand

Before the actual trip, it is best to condition your dog about it. You can first try seating with them inside your car while it is on the driveway. Let them get familiar with the feel of the car’s interior. When you see that they start to acclimate to the idea of being inside a car, you can go a step higher.

Take your dog on short trips around your vicinity. This would help them be familiar with the motion of a car. They would also be able to interact with the sights and sounds outside the car. They would not be surprised to experience different stimuli on the actual trip. Also, make sure to go somewhere fun during your short trips. This way, your dog would associate car trips with something enjoyable.

Prepare Your Dog’s Essentials

Like any other traveler, your dog also has some essentials that they need to take when traveling. Make sure to pack them all so that your pet would be comfortable. Have a checklist so that you would not forget anything.

Some things that should be on top of your list are dog food, blankets and bedding, and poop bags. You should also have their collar ID and dog seat belts. Some extras like toys and antler bones could come in handy especially on longer trips. Keeping them entertained would ensure a calmer mood.

Put Emphasis on Safety

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Treat your dog as you would any passenger. Their safety is of utmost importance when they are inside the car. Even how well-trained they are, they may get excited about the idea of being outside the home. There are safety products you could choose from for traveling with your pet. You can either have a crate, a travel harness, or a back seat hammock, among many others. The important thing is to find the one that suits your pet.

If you have children on board, instruct them not to tease or have some rough play with the dog. These things might make your pet exhibit some aggressive behavior.

Also, do not fall with the false depiction of a dog traveling with their face sticking out the window. Your dog’s eyes might dry out with this exposure. Also, their eyes could come in contact with some irritants in the air and cause some serious damage. There is also the possibility of them leaning too far and falling out of the car. You also have no control over the movements of the other cars on the road. Thus, the best thing is to keep them inside the car while it is in motion.

Prevent the Possibility of a Heatstroke

A dog’s body is different with a human’s body. They are more prone to overheat. You can prepare your car the night before the trip to help your dog feel more comfortable. Use a sunshade for the windshield of your car. You can also put one on your back windows. These covers can help create a cooler atmosphere inside your car. During the trip, keep your dog hydrated and never leave them inside the car unattended.

Plan for Bathroom Breaks

A dog cannot tell you when they need to relieve themselves or when they need to stretch a little. Thus, you must take the initiative to plan for bathroom breaks. You know your dog best, so you can pace your trip according to their needs. Be sure to clean after your dog after they pee or poop.

The quality of their car trip may affect their mood when they reach your destination. A comfortable car experience would prepare your dog to enjoy a fun vacation with you and your family. After the car ride, give your dog some treats to congratulate them for a job well done.

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