Jackie Murphy G.Dip ABM/A.Dip CBM/MISAP (beh)/MEST (QTLS)/TCBTS/ABTC Registers for Accredited Animal Behaviourist and Animal Trainer Instructor gives us her tips on travelling with your dogs by car and to make it a comfortable journey for both.
It is important to research and investigate some good quality equipment such as crates/ seat belt body harness/etc. They both have different uses and advantages. A standard body car harness will attach to the seat belt in the car and restrains your dog from moving however he/she can lie down.
A crate can be purchased or specially made to fit your car and these keep the dog in one area of the car, mainly the boot area. Whatever you use make sure that they are safely secure in the car.
Helping your dog get used to travelling in the car
Get them in the car and offer some tasty treats and make sure it is for a short period of time, increasing as your dog gets used to being inside the car.
If you are using a crate, then get them used to the crate before placing this is in the car.
Once your dog is comfortable in the car you start by taking some very short journeys but remember always to take them to fun places or do some fun activities with them after you have stopped the car and got them out.
Teach them to wait until you say it’s safe to get out of the car – see our tip on “car manners”.
Above all build the travelling in the car up slowly and make it fun to be in the car with your dog.
Before and on the day of travelling
If your dog does suffer with sickness due to traveling, then it may be useful to have a chat with your veterinary surgeon for some suitable medication. Travelling on an empty stomach can sometimes help.
Ensure to keep the car well-ventilated as this will definately help the car ride.
Do not allow your dog to have his head out of the window – it is not only dangerous but can lead to eye injuries.
Stop every couple of hours so that you dog can get out and toilet/exercise/have a drink before moving onto your holiday destination.
Car rides can be boring – make sure that no one teases or annoys the dog in the car.
If you need to leave the car unattended then delegate an adult member of the family to stay with the dog.
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