Most dogs seem to love to go on car rides. Even dogs that get car sick seem to want to get in the car with you, until they actually start getting sick. It’s debatable whether dogs like riding in the car or just doing whatever you’re doing, or both.
Preparing Your Dog For Travelling In The Car
Start Off Young
You can get your dog off to a good start by taking him for rides in the car beginning when he’s a puppy. Start your puppy off with short car rides around the neighborhood. Talk to him while he’s in the car. Praise him when you arrive back home and give him a treat. That’s usually all it takes for most puppies to learn to love car rides.
If you have a puppy who doesn’t seem to enjoy car rides or who gets sick, don’t despair. Most puppies do outgrow car sickness as they get older. You can try giving your puppy a spoonful of honey about 45 minutes before you plan to go someplace in the car. Or give your puppy a ginger cookie. Ginger has long been known as a way to settle the stomach and it works in dogs as well as humans.
If your puppy is prone to car sickness you should carry some supplies with you. Take some paper towels, products for cleaning up, and some air freshener. Some people prefer to clean up with white vinegar and water. Whatever you use, be sure you get everything cleaned up and eliminate any lingering odors. If odors remain they can trigger your puppy to become sick again.
Keeping your puppy in a crate when he rides in the car is recommended if he is prone to car sickness. It is much easier to clean up a crate than to clean up your car’s upholstery and carpeting. If you have to, you can simply take the crate out of the car and hose it out thoroughly.
Here are a few safety do’s and don’ts you should follow while traveling with your dog in the car:
- Don’t let your dog hang his head out the window as he could get foreign objects in his eyes
- Don’t let your dog wander around loose in the vehicle as he could cause an accident or be seriously hurt if you have to slam on your brakes
- Ensure your dog is in a crate or harness for his own safety
- Make sure your dog is wearing an ID tag in the event of an accident
- Most states require a health certificate, or at least proof of rabies vaccination, when you cross state lines
- If you are taking an overnight trip with your dog, be sure to take your own food and water, or purchase bottled water along the way as dogs are subject to gastrointestinal problems if you use local water or unaccustomed foods
- Take your dog’s toys, blanket, and other favorite things with you when he travels so he has a sense of comfort