Keep Them Calm and Drive On — What to Keep in Mind When Driving With Your Dog

Many dogs love nothing more than cruising with their humans with the music up and the window down. Other dogs, however, became anxious about even being near a vehicle much less inside of one. Even if your dog loves riding in the car and has many trips under his or her collar, there are some things to keep in mind while driving with your furry friend in your automobile.

Be Safe

One thing to always bear in mind when riding with your loyal companion is safety. Stop-and-go traffic can create a hazard for you and your dog if you do not take the time to properly secure your furry friend. Having your dog in the car is always fun, but only 16 percent of dog owners properly restrain their dog when driving. Pets, like children, should be properly restrained at all times while riding in any vehicle. A sudden stop can easily turn your furry friend into a missile. Even when dogs are very well-trained and like car travel, unexpected hazards can create a dangerous moment that could result in an injury that no one wants. Restraints do not have to be uncomfortable, unsightly, or costly. A good restraint system allows the dog to readjust his or her position while remaining secure.

Stay Calm

Some dogs do not like riding in a car or truck, period. This can become a truly dangerous situation, as a nervous dog can become quite a distraction. A few states even have laws requiring all pets to be properly secured while in a vehicle. At a minimum, the backseat with a seat-belt harness is probably the best place for any dog during a car trip. What if your canine companion is one who does not like to ride in a car, making you dread that quick trip to the veterinarian? There are options for helping even the most anxiety-ridden animal tolerate a car ride. One method involves slowly introducing your dog to the automobile experience with short rides that include treats and a fun destination. Some dogs feel more comfortable in a crate while traveling. There are also natural canine treats that help with anxiety that are available at most pet stores or online.

Your Attitude Helps Their Attitude

Most dogs are sensitive to the emotions of their human. Chances are that if you are nervous about how your furry friend will react to the car trip, he or she will sense that anxiety and become anxious. Arguably the most wonderful thing about dogs is their trainability. Basic behavior modification training can often turn a car-hating canine into a car-loving companion relatively quickly. For instance, you may have discovered on the way home from the rescue that your adorable mutt does not want to be in the vehicle and is whining and crying to get out. Once you are home, you might try introducing him or her to the car with gameplay. A few treats and lots of encouragement when your furry friend jumps in and out of the automobile on command might work wonders. Also, be sure to use your vehicle for fun rides and not just vet trips.

Overall, dog owners should always keep in mind that an anxious or out-of-control pet in the car is a distraction. Distractions are a major cause of accidents, and no one wants that. With patient training and lots of love, your anxious four-legged companion might become an experienced road warrior in no time.

If you ever need to go on the road without your dog, let us watch them for you! Contact us to arrange pet sitting so you can travel without worrying about your furry friend.

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