ALL ABOUT DOGS and CATS Resource Center for Canine & Feline Lovers
Traveling with Pets
Car Travel Tips for Dogs
Most dogs love cars. They love the excitement of getting into the backseat and
the exhilaration of feeling the wind and seeing everything rush by. But some
dogs have anxiety over riding in cars. The more positive your dog’s automobile
experiences are, the more likely she will enjoy the rides. If your dog only rides in
the car for vet visits, and he dislikes the vet, his anxiety is understandable. Try
taking him for short, frequent car rides that end up at the park, dog supply store
(where he will get a toy or treat), or another pleasant place. If your dog does not
adjust to the car, then a road trip is not a good option. If you must bring your dog
for a long car ride, ask your vet about possible anti-anxiety medications that can
make the trip a bit easier on everyone. Otherwise, you should seek out other
options. Remember, medications should be used sparingly.
Traveling with your dog can be loads of fun if you make all the right
arrangements. However, poor planning can really ruin the vacation for everyone.
If you think it would be best for your dog to stay behind, then look for a pet sitter
or find a kennel where you can board your dog. If you have decided that your
furry companion should be part of your trip, plan ahead.
Traveling with your dog is always going to be a little stressful, given the extra
distractions it will cause; however, it’s always worth it to have your best friend by
your side. If you follow these tips, the trip will be even better!
- Don’t roll your window all the way down. While Fido may enjoy
hanging out of it while driving, if you were to get into an accident he
would be thrown from the vehicle. And, if something out there were to
catch his eye, your dog might jump out of the car and into traffic. Don’t
deny him all the fun, though– roll the window down just enough for him
to get his head out and enjoy the ride.
- Put down a sheet or blanket in the backseat. This will help prevent
you from having dog hair all over the upholstery of your car.
- Plan your route to make sure that you have plenty of pet-friendly
places to stop. When traveling short distances this will not be an issue,
but long distance driving will require that you have places to walk and
feed your pet. Plot rest stops along the way while traveling with your
dog, and plan to stop every 3-5 hours to allow your dog to relieve
himself, drink water and stretch his legs (more or less depending on
your dog’s needs).
- Make a list of several veterinary hospitals that are easily
accessible from your route, preferably within one hour’s drive from
any given point. Check that they will be open during your travel.
- Take off your dog’s leash when you get into the car. Keeping the
leash within reach is important, but you don’t want your puppy to be
getting caught on things while you are driving.
- Invest in a harness that is made specifically for traveling with
|All dogs are fascinated by the
smells they encounter when they
stick their noses out the window
of a moving car. You can indulge
him, but never leave the window
down so far that your dog can
jump or fall out. Roll the window
no more than half way down.
|Remember, It’s no fun riding
in the car when your vision
is limited to the dashboard,
seats, door handles and
sky. Small dogs need
elevated seats to enjoy the