Your love for your dog should not put a stop to your love for travel. Dogs can be excellent company and enjoy road trips and the great outdoors as much as you do. More importantly, they enjoy spending time with you. Before you decide to take your dog in the car with you, even if it is just a short ride, think about safety.
6 Ways to Travel Safely with Your Dog in a Car
The best position in the car
It is understandable that you find a thought of placing your dog in the passenger seat very cute. However, cuteness, should not be your priority. The best place for your dog in the car would be in the far back, followed by the back seat. Think about your own safety as well, a dog in the front seat could distract you. It could also push something accidentally or jump on your lap or feet. Which brings another point of whether it is safe to let your dog ride in a car without any restraints.
How to restrain your dog
Quite similarly to being in a car with a child, a dog can also get bored or overly excited. Having it bounce up and down, switch between the front and the back seat, and tease you, could lead to an accident. Also, even if it is sitting perfectly still, if you make a sudden turn, or get into an accident, your dog could be in danger. You can either put them in a crate, in a designated doggy seat or put them on a leash and use seat belts.
Features of different types of restraints
A dog booster seat, that is, a dog car seat is specially designed to keep your dog safe and comfortable while on the road. Being comfortable enough to fall asleep will take some edge of motion sickness. There are seats elevated enough for the dog to be able to look through a window.
If you have a big dog, one of the choices is to use a seat cover hammock to protect your vehicle and make traveling enjoyable. Combine it with a travel hammock to buckle them up. Dog crates may be the safest but are not the most enjoyable option for dogs. If your pet does not mind it, this should be your first choice.
Traveling in the back of a car
If you have an estate car, the back is perfect for your dog. Put a mash screen up between the seats and the back so your dog is not tempted to jump over and get closer to you. Make sure it has a comfortable spot to lay down. Perhaps you can even lay some blankets as a cover. Do not leave any hard objects in the back with your dog, as they can act as projectiles if you stop or turn suddenly.
You know your dog best. If you know it to be unpredictable when excited, you want to be extra careful. Put the dog on a leash before you open the rear door. This will prevent the dog from jumping straight out and running off quickly before it calms down. Even though it should be avoided, it can be crucial when you are stopping on the side of a busy road.
Food and water
When you are getting ready for a road trip, you always make sure you have snack and water for the road. Do the same for your dog. Bring its bowl and some snacks and water to keep it happy while it’s in the car. It might be more convenient for the dog, and the car, if you stopped and made a break for food and water. The break will also help it starch and relax. Also, same as you would, use this time for bathroom breaks.
Make minor adjustments
Experienced car mechanics know where to look for safety features. Tell them what you want to do with your car and bring the piece of safety equipment you want to fit in it. They will be able to add the features needed for a certain harness to work or a seat to fit safely. You can also ask them to help you set up a cargo carrier for your luggage if your dog is riding in the back.
Traveling with pets does not have to be difficult. It requires some thinking in advance, however. Don’t take this challenge likely. Resist the temptation to indulge your dog but do what is in its best interest. Ensure that they are comfortable, but unable to distract you, hurt themselves or jump through an open window. If you care about your dog, do it responsibly. Otherwise, if all of this is too much hassle, find a dog sitter or leave it in a pet hotel.