While some have furry friends who don’t mind trips in a car, many of us aren’t so lucky. From whining to slobbering to skittering around the car, driving with your dog can be frustrating and can even become a safety issue. If you dread dragging your dog into the car, or even would just like him to have a more comfortable ride, these five tips are for you.
1. Exercise, exercise, exercise. Before you hit the road, make sure your pup has burned off any excess energy. A quick game of fetch will do! A tired dog is a calmer dog; exercise is often the answer to many common behavioral issues.
2. Crates are your friend. Putting your pup in a crate while in the car means you have his best interest in mind. Crates protect your furry friend in the case of an accident, and also prevent your pup from distracting you by running around while you’re driving (and causing an accident). Be sure to make the crate a friendly place, by being happy when your dog goes in the crate and even placing his favorite toy in there too.
3. Taking a break. If your road trip is on the lengthy side, it’s important to make pit stops for your pup to relieve himself and stretch his legs. Go on a short walk and bring a few protein-packed treats (like these) for him. Don’t overfeed your furriend, as that may lead to an upset stomach in the car!
4. Never, ever leave your dog in the car. If it is even remotely warm out, your car can heat up dangerously quick. A breezy 70 degree day can turn your car into a 110 degree oven! If you are just taking the car to run errands, it’s in your dog’s best interest to leave him at home.
5. Don’t get discouraged! If Fido’s first car trip was a bit stressful, that doesn’t mean you can’t condition him to enjoy the car. Take him on short car trips to fun places, like the dog park or to grab a pup cup at the local ice cream shop.
These tried-and-true tips are sure to alleviate some of the anxiety your furry friend may have about car rides, and at the very least will provide him with a more comfortable environment. Car rides can be a confusing and frightening experience for a dog, especially a rescue, so remember to be patient and keep a positive energy!