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10 Tips to Keep your Dog Healthy and Safe in the Car

Keep your dog healthy

Keep Your Dog Safe and Healthy In a Car | It’s always fun to take your furry four-legged companion along with you when going on a road trip. But a long journey can be stressful for dog owners as well as for dogs if you have not planned ahead. Traveling with your dog requires some forethought, though. It is not always possible to buy what you need for your pet along the way.

Make sure your dog is well used to traveling in a car to avoid it getting stressed or fidgety. Keep all the necessary items with you, such as a dog travel kit with your dog’s favorite food, snacks, and chew toys to keep your furry friend occupied through the journey.

Here are 10 useful tips to keep your dog safe in a car.

1. Keep your Dog Restrained

When going on long drives, make sure your dog is not moving around freely in the car. Your dog may try to jump onto the front seat and sit on your lap, especially if the animal is nervous. Always place your dog in the back seat. If possible, keep your dog in a pet carrier, but make sure the carrier is big enough for your dog to move around in if it needs to stretch.

You can also keep your pet in a carrier that is strapped to the seat with a seatbelt or get a pet seatbelt, so your pet does not get injured in case of a collision.

2. Is your dog accustomed to traveling?

If you regularly take your dog on drives, then it’s very likely that it’s probably already used to traveling in a car. If not, start by taking it on several short trips before embarking on a longer trip, so your dog gets used to being in the car in the first place.

3. Feeding Time

Always feed your dog 3-4 hours before starting your journey. Make it a point never to feed them in a moving vehicle. Also, keep in mind that dogs need breaks – just like humans do – to snack, stretch, or relieve themselves.

4. Travel Kit

When taking your dog on a road trip, remember to prepare a travel kit with all your pet’s essentials, including health records that provide proof of immunization. In case you are crossing borders, you might also need a health certificate ensuring proof of rabies and sometimes even a pet passport. A pet passport would have a record of all your dogs’ medical procedures, vaccinations, and treatments. (petraveller.com)

Remember your dog’s favorite food, snacks, necessary medication, and bowls. Don’t forget to include cleaning up supplies such as waste bags and a waste bag scooper.

Do include your dog’s favorite toys to keep it distracted while in the car or maybe your dog’s blanket just so it has something familiar to remind it of home.

5. Identification

On longer trips, make sure your dog is wearing a collar with an ID tag. The ID should have the dog’s name, owner’s name, and contact information. Always make sure your dog wears a flat collar that fits comfortably on its neck. If your dogs’ collar is too tight, it might cause discomfort, and if it’s too loose, it might slip off. Avoid using choke collars at all costs, as they can be extremely harmful to your pet and can cause pain.

6. Prepare your car

Dogs with think coats tend to shed, filling your car with dog hair, which can be inconvenient and irritating at times. You can prevent this by using a car seat cover and floor cover to keep your car’s seating fur-free. If you do not want to purchase a car seat cover, you can also create your own DIY cover by using an old towel or a thick bedsheet instead.

7. Mind the Windows

If your car has automatic windows, make sure they are locked because dogs love sticking their head out the window. This can be dangerous as dogs, being energetic and over-enthusiastic, can sometimes jump out. If they stick their head out for too long, they might also be hit by any passing debris in the air.

8. Never leave your dog unattended in the car

Leaving your dog unattended in the car can be fatal for the animal, especially when the weather is extremely warm or extremely cold. In summer, cars heat up incredibly quickly, and the inside of a car turns oven-like. Such high heat can easily kill your pet. (myanimals.com). The same is the case for winter but on the opposite end of the temperature spectrum.

9. Motion sickness in dogs

Motion sickness in dogs is also a common concern and is more common in younger pups than in older dogs. This is because the ear structures used for balancing are not fully developed in puppies. (pets.webmd.com). There are several signs of travel sickness in dogs that you can identify, such as uneasiness or listlessness, constant whining, excessive drooling, or vomiting.

10. Precautionary steps

To avoid motion sickness in dogs, make sure your dog sits facing forward instead of looking out the side windows. One great way of ensuring this is using a dog seatbelt. This is a seatbelt especially designed for dogs to provide adequate restrain while in a car.

You can also roll down your car’s window a little while it’s moving. This can balance the air pressure within the car with the air pressure outside and can relieve some of your dog’s nausea.

Taking your dog along with you on a trip can be challenging, but if you have planned ahead for all your dog’s needs, it can be a great way to have some fun with your cute four-legged companion! It can be a great experience for your dog, too, as it gets to experience different sights and sounds.

This is also an opportunity to develop a close bond with your dog as you are giving the pet one-to-one attention during a car trip.
It’s common for dog owners to be anxious when taking their dogs in a car on a long trip, but if you do it right, you can have a great experience with your best friend!