How to travel by car with a dog

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dog next to the car

Nowadays, traveling by car is part of our routine, so, for sure, at some point we will have to take our dog with him, so it is important that we follow these tips to ensure a safe and quiet trip.

Index of contents

  • 1 Dogs and cars
  • 2 Safety behind the wheel
  • 3 Long trips

Dogs and cars

We must know that there are dogs that, like people, get dizzy in vehicles and even vomit. Others are very afraid and cry, hypersalivate, empty their anal glands and try to escape.

To avoid these situations it is good that we get our dog used to traveling by car, always starting with short trips. Before putting it in the vehicle it’s good that we take a long walk.

If he is a puppy and still cannot go outside, we will play with him to release energy. We should also avoid feeding him just before the trip, in case he vomits. To combat dizziness there are pills on the market that we can always use following the veterinaryn’s prescription.

It is good that in these short test trips we take you to places that you may like such as the mountains, the beach or the park.

In this way, you will associate the car with a positive action, very different from if we only use the vehicle to take it to the vet, which you probably do not have very good memories of.

These recommendations apply to both puppies and adult dogs.

dog in car interior

Safety behind the wheel

The first thing to transport our dog by car is to inform us about the safety regulations required by the corresponding Traffic Department when traveling with animals.

In general, the most important thing is that the dog never has access to the driver to avoid an accident. Among the safety devices, the following stand out:

  • The harness: The complete kit consists of a harness to which a short strap is attached that hooks on the seat belt. In this way the dog can be comfortably seated or lying in the rear seats or on the ground without, due to the length of the leash, getting access to the driver.
  • The carrier: Rigids are a good option for traveling, always adapting them to the size of the dog. They can be attached to the seat with the belt or placed at the rear if it is a van or open trunk. The small ones can also go on the ground in front of the seats.
  • Network: It has to be solid and well fixed to do its job. It is placed behind the front or rear seats, depending on the vehicle. The dog can go standing or sitting without accessing the driver in any case.
  • The octopuses: Although they do not have to do directly with the dog, these accessories are necessary to keep the luggage subject and that it cannot fall on the dog.
  • The covers: They are not an element of security but they are a good complement when the dog has access to the seats. There are custom covers but we can also adjust any sheet, blanket or towel. The objective is to protect the upholstery from hair, footprints, drool and eventual vomiting.

Dogs should never go loose inside the car since, in addition to being able to cause an accident if they access the driver, they could be badly injured in the event of a crash or sudden braking.

In addition, it is not convenient for them to stick their heads out the window, since they could inflame their trachea due to the cold air or introduce foreign bodies such as spikes in eyes or ears.

Long trips

If we have accustomed our dog to tolerate and even enjoy car trips, we can consider traveling longer distances with him.

For these occasions, in addition to the general advice we have given, we must take into account the following recommendations:

  • Stops: If it is convenient for the driver to stop and rest from driving every 2-3 hours of travel, it is also good for the dog to get off the vehicle, stretch its legs and evacuate if necessary.
  • Hydration: Every time we stop, and if we see that the dog is very hot we must do it, we can offer water in small amounts. Food is best left for when we reach our destination.
  • Hot: We must prevent the dog from directly sunbathing, for which we can place it in the shade area or use parasols. We should never leave the dog in a car in the sun, even for a few minutes, since the temperatures that the vehicle will reach can cause it to suffer a heat stroke, potentially fatal.
  • Documentation: Whenever we move we must do it with the dog’s card a day. It is good that we inform ourselves about the most frequent diseases in the area we travel to protect our dog in advance.

For example, in communities with a high presence of leishmania we must bring our dog protected against the mosquito that transmits it. In addition, we have to get hold of the phones of the vets near our accommodation in case we need their services.