I always cringe when I see dogs in the back of a pickup truck. Like, sure, the average dog is smart enough not to jump out into traffic, but that’s not the only concern! According to George Salinas, “The injuries suffered from auto accidents can range from death and incapacitation to spinal damage that does not manifest itself for days after the collision.” And those effects are not limited to unsecured pets in the truckbed. Anytime you hit the road with your dog, you are putting them in danger. You need to mitigate that danger.
The biggest question is how to safely transport you dog in your vehicle. Dogs are playing a much large part in our lives than in the past, according to Packaged facts. If your dog is like most family dogs, he or she loves riding in the car. The important thing is that you do it safely particularly if you’re any certain distance. Here are some tips.
Always Use a Crate
Using a crash-tested crate is the safest way to transport your dog. While your dog may want to roam around freely, the inside of a moving vehicle is not the place to do it. If your dog already uses a crate inside your home, he or she will feel comfortable using it in the car. If the dog doesn’t have a crate, consider getting one long enough in advance so the dog can become comfortable with it. Dogs may initially balk at sleeping in a crate, but once they get used to it, many consider it their “comfort zone”. If case of car accidents, your dog is safest when in a crate. USA Today rates the PetEgo Forma Frame Jet Set as the safest crate in its price class.
Travel with an Empty Stomach
Many dog owners complain that their dogs get carsick because they repeatedly vomit in the car. Often this is the result of forcing the dog to travel on a full stomach. If you’re planning the trip, make sure the dog does not eat prior to leaving.
Traveling with dogs is much like traveling with little kids. You need to stop often to give them a chance to move around, stretch their legs, and do their duties. You’ll find they’re more comfortable after the stop. Much has been said about this in the past, but it bares repeating here: please don’t leave your dog alone in the car!
Bring Along Food and Water
Despite not wanting the dog to have a full stomach, you will need some food if it’s a long trip. Allow the dog to eat a small portion at a time if the dog appears hungry. Always offer your dog water at each stop. They seem to get thirstier than we do and much more often.
Keep Off Your Lap
For some reason, dogs seem to enjoy being on your lap. Avoid this when driving. It can easily cause car accidents. In fact, about a dozen states have laws against driving with a dog on your lap because it can cause car accidents.
Tire Him Out
The best way to get a dog to cooperate on a road trip is to work out his energy beforehand. For older or middle-aged dogs, a light walk or less will be plenty. For enthusiastic puppies, however, you’re going to have a hard time keeping up. Set up your Tether Tug and let him tire himself out, then take him to your destination.
Traveling with a big dog may sound like a hassle, but it can be enjoyable for all of you if you exercise common sense and keep the dog as safe as possible. After your first trip, your dog will quickly remember and accept the routine.