Car Travel with Dogs: Tips and Tricks

Some helpful tips for happy journeys for both you and your four-legged friends.

Dogs come in all different shapes, sizes, and tolerance levels for car journeys. While some may be ecstatic at the idea of getting to travel alongside you, others can find the concept daunting. Whether your dog loves or loathes travel, however, there are always things you can do to make the ride easier and more enjoyable for the both of you.

Safety First

No matter what else you do, the most important thing is making sure both you and your dog are safe. While everyone knows the first step of road safety for humans is putting on a seatbelt, this can be equally important for hounds. Before you go anywhere, it is essential to invest in a dog seatbelt to ensure your pooch is secure. These seatbelts can be purchased online or in a pet store. Make sure to do some research or ask an expert which kind is right for your dog!

Everyone is Different

While taking advice from others into account is good, it is important to be aware that what works for your friend’s dog won’t necessarily work for yours. While some may enjoy the freedom of being able to lie down in the boot of the car by themselves, others will feel more secure if they’re sitting next to someone in the backseat. It all comes down to your dog’s size, breed and personality. No one knows your hound better than you do, so it'svery important that you pay attention to their reactions and behavior to make sure they are as comfy as possible, instead of just blindly following what others say.

Test Things Out

Not everything will work the first time you try it and that’s okay! Before you embark on any long, strenuous journeys with your hound, try bringing them with you when you go to the grocery store or to pick your kids up from school. This way you can figure out what does and doesn’t work and be prepared for any bigger trips you may want to take together in the future.

Build a System

Routine is key to a successful journey. Once you figure out which method is the safest and least stress-inducing for your dog, stick to it. This way, when you take them out on car trips, they know exactly what to expect and don’t have to deal with constant surprises. This also means that they will gradually get more comfortable and used to these rides, making it a breeze for you. Soon, calm and successful car travel will be second nature for everyone involved.

Provide Them with Comfort

Even with all these steps taken into account, the idea of getting in a car can be scary for some dogs. While getting annoyed at them will likely only worsen this, giving them something to make them feel secure will do the opposite. Whether it’s a favourite toy, a cozy blanket or a familiar person to sit with, providing your hound with a bit of extra comfort is never a bad idea. If cars still scare them, try rewarding them for facing their fears. Offering them their favourite treats for getting in the car will help take away the negative association and establish it as a safe and comfortable environment.

Car travel isn’t the easiest thing to figure out when it comes to your dog, but in many cases it is a useful or even essential process. Though it may take a bit of time and work to find the best method, it’ll be worth it in the end when you’re able to bring your best friend with you wherever you go.

Good luck and safe travels!