You may think that driving with your four legged friend is pretty easy and all you need to do is put it in the backseat, fasten the seat belt and off you go. The truth is, It's a little more complicated than that. Rookie car-riding dogs are often jumpy, skittish and may start jumping around at any moment, distracting you while driving, which can be dangerous for you and for him. Don’t fret – the tips we’re about to mention will prepare you for your pet’s first road trip, feeling more comfortable and at ease during the journey.
Like puppy training, the earlier you work with your dog, the better. By getting him accustomed to the ride as a young pup, you will have better control while the dog is still eager to learn.
To take his mind off of the new smells, motion, and chaos that comes with the territory, bring along some accessories he’s familiar with. Perhaps a chew treat that does not leave residue, or a piece of old clothing with your scent on it will divert attention away from the foreign environment and relieve potential stress.
Ease Into It
Try to keep the first few trips to a minimal distance. By driving short distances, you’re gradually letting your dog adjust to the new experience. Give him a treat after each trip to reward good behavior. Many dogs associate car rides with going to the veterinarian, so think of other destinations other than the vet’s office such as parks or the countryside.
Preventing Motion Sickness
Motion sickness is a common problem for dogs traveling in cars. Vomiting and excessive panting and drooling is common in the beginning, so try not to allow too much food before the ride. We also recommend cracking the windows a bit so that he can get fresh air. If driving long distances, give him an all-natural treat that will be easy on his stomach.
For maximum protection, use a safety harness or crate to put the dog in. And never ever travel with your uncrated dog in the back of a pickup truck - we've all seen dead dogs on the roads, often victims of their owners' own negligence. Don’t forget to pack plenty of paper towels and baggies, so that you are prepared to clean up in case an accident occurs.
By following these simple tips and taking the time to teach your dog to relax and just enjoy the ride, you both will bond while playing it safe at the same time.
Jordan Perch is an active promoter of the new developments in the automotive industry. He is an author of many how-to articles related to safe driving, buying/selling vehicles, auto insurance etc. He is currently managing the blog of the resourceful DMV.com.