Safe Car Travel Tips for Traveling With Your Dog

Have you ever noticed how a simple three-letter word like, “Car” gets your dog’s attention? Dogs could do anything to just get into the car and take off on a drive. Most dogs love car rides so much that they rather go for a ride than go for a walk although car rides come with safety rules.

Tips for Traveling With Your Dog

A short drive with your dog to the supermarket is easy to manage but when it comes to traveling with your dog in a car, there are certain dos and don’ts you need to be mindful of as a pet parent. Here are some helpful tips for traveling with a dog in a car.

Don’t Drive Too Fast

Speeding with your dog in the backseat is a recipe for disaster. Even if your dog loves car rides, it may not enjoy fast speeds all that much. Dogs tend to experience nervous jitters when they’re in fast-moving cars. Additionally, driving too fast can trigger motion sickness in dogs.

If you’re traveling with your dog in your car, leave the speeding for another day and take the ride nice and slow. This will give your dog the space and chance to look out the window and feel the breeze peacefully and comfortably.

Driving too fast increases the risk of running into speed bumps that could even cause an accident. Since dogs get tense and anxious with turbulence on bumpy rides, it’s best to dial down the accelerator and maintain a fairly steady speed for a smooth and enjoyable road trip experience.

Keep a Pet First Aid Kit Handy

If only disasters came with a warning but this is never the case. When you’re traveling by road, the chances of accidents occurring are at an all-time high. As a pet parent, it’s absolutely essential for you to keep a pet first aid kit handy when you’re traveling with your dog in a car.

For better preparedness in an emergency situation, your pet first aid box should have a couple of latex gloves that will prevent the wound from getting contaminated. You’ll need a gauze that can double as a muzzle, a digital thermometer to check for body temperature, a few bandages, a sanitizing agent, a bunch of cotton balls, and preferably a first-aid manual with basic instructions.

If you’re traveling with dogs in a car long distance, a first aid kit will make sure your dog is safe till you visit a vet or a pet clinic.

Take Breaks During Your Drive

Doesn’t the car seat stiffen your back and legs when you’re seated in one position for a long time? Your dog experiences the same kind of discomfort and in some cases, it can get quite severe. Unlike humans, dogs aren’t used to long car rides. They might also want to relieve themselves occasionally.

So, what is the best way to travel with your dog in a car? Take breaks during your drive and let your dog out of the car on a leash. If you happen to find a suitable and green patch of land by the side of the road, you could even take your pup on a little walk to get its blood flowing. This way, your dog can get some much-needed exercise on road trips for extra energy and a breath of fresh air in openness and nature.

Don’t Feed Right Before Leaving

Most dogs are prone to motion sickness on long car rides and winding routes. If you’re traveling with your dog, make sure you don’t feed it anything before starting your journey. A dog on a full stomach is likely to retch and vomit while traveling in the car. So, how do you prepare a dog for a long car ride? The key is to plan your dog’s meals and the start of your trip accordingly.

For instance, if you’re hitting the road early in the morning, feed your dog a wholesome meal the night before. This way, you’re giving your dog enough time to digest its food completely before the journey. A short walk before getting into the car will give your dog a chance to urinate or clear its bowels before getting into the car.


Don’t Let Your Dog Hang Out of the Window

Dogs have a natural tendency to feel more suffocated in cars than humans do. They prefer having the windows down and enjoy the breeze. This also helps them breathe more freely and manage nausea on car rides. Having said that, don’t let your dog hang out of the window.

Hanging out of the window for extended periods of time will dry out your dog’s eyes. Dust, debris, and bugs could easily fly into their eyes, nose, ears, or mouth and this could be quite dangerous for your dog. In-coming traffic from the opposite side of the road could startle your dog. The worst part? Your dog could even get hit by a vehicle that’s going too fast.

Keep your dog confined to the safety of a crate while the windows of the car are drawn down. Make sure you’re watching over your dog the whole time and preferably stay seated next to your pup to control any sudden movements or reactions.

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Do Dogs Like Long Drives?

While some dogs enjoy road trips, there are some who tend to experience travel or car anxiety. Shorter trips are easier to manage since it’s simpler to keep dogs entertained for a limited period of time. Also, on long drives, dogs who are comfortable with the ride usually fall asleep once the initial bout of excitement and enthusiasm runs out.

In some cases, even the smallest dog breeds in the world feel stuffy in cars and find it difficult to breathe if they have short snouts. Since there isn’t a lot of space, large breeds find it hard to comfortably position themselves on a car seat on long drives. You also have to consider territorial breeds that tend to get overprotective and anxious in cars on long trips.

The best way to know whether your dog likes long drives is to take it on several short drives and increase the duration of the trip gradually to help your pup adjust and adapt to change with ease.