Traveling With a Dog
Puppy in the car for the first time
My dogs have accompanied me on car rides since I could drive, and I learned that traveling with a dog is easy, especially when you start by taking them with you when they are a puppy.
Take your puppy on short trips as soon as possible, and he will learn to love it. For example, I started by putting my puppies in the car for the first time when they were eight weeks old. I would take them with me when I picked up the kids from school. Not only did they learn to ride in the car, but they became socialized.
If your older dog has never ridden in the car, it’s not too late. Take him or her for rides with family members or friends, and ask the passengers to offer the dog treats and cuddle him ensuring that he has a good experience.
Dog Travel Gear
If your dog uses a crate, put it in the car and place familiar toys in it. I learned that a dog’s older toys offer more security in a strange environment than new ones.
Additionally, I have crated my dogs until they reached the age of about one, which is around the time that they stop teething and you can trust them alone.
Ironically, I had removed the door to my current dog’s colossal crate and never took the crate down because my dog uses it every day. Though it’s an eyesore, I can’t take away the dog’s refuge.
Portable Water Bottles
The pet stores sell all kinds of portable water bottles. Take a water bottle and treats with you in the car, you may need those treats to divert your dog’s attention.
Protect Your Car
Use Common Sense and Don’t Leave Pets in Hot Cars
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a dog left in a hot car in a parking lot with the windows opened slightly. Please, never leave your dog in a hot car, even if it’s 70 degrees and you cracked the windows.
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine had discovered that a car’s temperature could rise 40 degrees quickly and become deadly. When in doubt, don’t take a chance and leave your dog at home.
However, if it’s hot and you have to take your dog on a long trip, ensure that when the dog gets in the car is cool. You can blast the air conditioner for about ten minutes or so before your pet enters. If your SUV has second and third-row air-conditioning, turn that on too. Also, though this is obvious, walk and water the dog before you leave.
If it’s hot and you are traveling alone, opt for drive-through restaurants. If you need a restroom, park in the shade, open the windows enough to allow air to circulate to cool your pet. Also, try not to dawdle.
Puppy Training and Dog Training
For safety reasons learn puppy training tips and teach basic commands like down, sit, stay, and come. If the dog stands while you are driving, he should respond to “down.”
Furthermore, you should teach your dog the “stay” command, because when you open the car door or lift the hatch, the dog shouldn’t jump out until you hook the leash on his collar and he hears a command, like “ok.” If he jumps out before you attach the leash, and he doesn’t respond to “come,” offer him treats to get his attention. Most importantly, learning these commands could save your dog’s life.
Warning: Dangerous Prong Collars, Slip Collars or Choke Collars
Even though I was just in the next room, I learned the hard way about the danger of leaving a slip collar or prong collar on an unattended dog. Moreover, I never put my dog in the car or leave him alone wearing a prong collar or a choke collar. Additionally, I only use them to control him during walks.
What Happened when I left my puppy unattended wearing a slip collar
As a puppy, our dog’s slip-collar loop became lodged between two deck boards. I heard the dog whimpering, and I ran outside, and I saw him jerking his head up and down trying to escape as the metal choke collar was strangling him like a noose.
I pried the slip collar over his head while my husband raced for the wire cutters. Consequently, I will never leave my dog unattended wearing a slip collar or prong collar.
Now, he wears a buckle collar at home and in the car. Even when driving with him, I keep his prong collar in the front seat.
To sum up, start traveling with a new puppy as soon as possible. Contain him when you take him on a long car ride. If you don’t use a crate have others ride with you for safety reasons and to ensure that your puppy has a pleasant experience.
Also, bring pet supplies and protect your car. Take your pet to puppy training because responding to basic commands like “come” could save his life. Also, check out my article about dog owners who allowed their dogs to attack my puppy.
Most importantly, never leave your dog in a hot car or leave him unattended with a slip collar or prong collar.
I hope these tips help ensure a happy and safe trip for you and your pet. Do you take your dog on trips? What are your tips and tricks for traveling with a dog or other pet?