How To Travel Safely and Securely With Your Dog In The Car

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Most dogs love going on a road trip with their owners. Taking them with us during our travels is fun. However, while fastening our seat belts when hitting the road is second nature, for our pets, it’s a whole different story.

You’re putting your pet in danger when he is not secured correctly in the event of a crash. Furthermore, pets can also distract drivers during the ride. Consider the safety tips below before going on a drive with your precious pet.

Importance of Keeping Your Dog Secure During Car Travel

Restraining your Dog

Letting your dog ride your vehicle without restraint is not advisable. There are various car restraint products available on the market today, from carrier to harness. It is crucial to take your time when choosing the right car restraint for your dog to ensure his safety.

Dog booster seat is the most commonly used dog restraint. You can attach it at the back of your car’s front seat and the back seat’s top, creating a soft and comfortable place for your pet.

When shopping for one, consider the following features:

  • It is essential to choose the right size of dog safety seat for your pup. It can be uncomfortable if it’s too small. Too large can put his life at risk as he will not be safe. The best dog booster seat will have enough room for your dog to lay down or sit. Make sure that its seat belt or harness fits your pet snuggly, but not tight enough to irritate his skin.
  • Fit to the seat. Dog car seats are not designed the same way. Some have built-in seat belts that you can wrap around your vehicle’s headrest, while the other one at the back the seat. There are some seats that come with a hole where you can insert the seat belt of your car to secure it. Select a dog booster which you think will work best for you, your pet, and your car.
  • Height adjustment. Unlike other car seats for dogs, there are booster seats that you can adjust. They not only keep your pup safe during the drive, but it will also give them a view of the scenery.
  • Design and material type. Ensure that the aesthetics of the seat is what you’re truly after. You’d want something that will go with your vehicle’s interior. You can also choose something with vibrant colors or animal print that will stand out. But most importantly, check that it has the right measurement for your car and pet. You’ll want your buddy to be as comfortable and safe as much as possible.

Are Dog Car Seats Safe?

As long as you follow the manufacturer’s installation guide, dog car seats are relatively safe. However, if you have a large breed, it is recommended to use seat belt systems and harnesses for them. A car seat is ideal for smaller and medium breeds since it can prevent your adorable pet from flying forward in the event of a crash. You can also use a harness with it for utmost protection.

How to Avoid Dog Car Sickness

Younger dogs are more likely to experience car sickness since the structure in their ears responsible for balance is not yet completely developed. Stress may also trigger motion sickness. Most dogs can outgrow motion sickness, but there are those who don’t.

  • Do not feed your pet before traveling. It is recommended not to feed your pooch 6 to 8 hours before the trip ahead. You can give them water instead. Most dogs with an empty stomach will not get car sick.
  • Plan your stops. Some dogs cannot handle hours and hours of drive. Make sure to make stops frequently. Stop every couple of hours to walk him around and for his water and bathroom time.
  • Let your pet enjoy the scenery. To prevent motion sickness, adjust your dog booster seat so that your pup can enjoy the scenery.
  • Open your car’s windows. If possible, consider turning off your vehicle’s air-condition. Letting some fresh air in is a good way of preventing car sickness not just for your dog but other passengers as well.

Here are some telltale signs your pet is experiencing car sickness:

  • He is drooling too much.
  • Listlessness and inactivity.
  • He is whining incessantly.
  • When he’s starting to vomit.
  • You’ll see your pet yawning all the time.
  • He is very uneasy.

Keep in mind that the key here is awareness and preparedness to ensure your fur baby is comfortable during your road trip.

Should I Medicate my Dog?

You may be tempted to medicate your pet before traveling to calm him. However, this is not recommended as this may start a pattern. You don’t want your furry friend to rely on pills all the time whenever you’re hitting the road. You can calm your dog using your attitude, body language, and voice.

Dog Essentials to Pack

To make your pet’s space in your vehicle comfortable, place a blanket for added padding. They also need to drink water throughout the ride. Make sure you have water and a bowl or cup inside your vehicle. Also, bring some treats, your dog’s leash, collar, some of his beloved chew toys, and plastic bags when doing his business. Chew toys are great to keep him occupied. Avoid squeaky toys which can distract your driving.

Moreover, it is vital to put your dog’s collar every time even if you’re going on a short distance. Even if your furry friend always behaves, it’s still possible that he can get out of your vehicle and run away. Make sure his collar has all his details and your information in case he escapes from you while on the road.

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