How to Make Your Car Ride Safe and Enjoyable for You and Your Dog

Some dogs bound right to the door when you say “car ride,” others will make themselves scarce, and some couldn’t be bothered either way.  No matter how your dog feels about a car ride to a fun day at the dog park or dreaded visit to the veterinarian, there are ways to ensure that each car ride is enjoyable and safe for you and your pet.

Start from the Beginning

If your dog is a new addition to your family, make sure that their first car ride isn’t to the vet.  Think of it this way; you wouldn’t like the car if every ride ended in a trip to the dentist, so make sure that the destination of your car ride is somewhere you pet likes! Keep your first trips short and to friendly destinations. By forming a positive association with the car, your pet will be more likely to comply when you need to get them in the car to go to the vet.

What to Do About Windows

Nothing brings a smile to your face like a delighted dog with its head out the window; ears are flapping in the wind and nose hard a work sniffing all the smells.  While it is adorable, it’s not exactly safe.  If you want to be 100% safe, you should never let your dog travel with their head fully out the window or in the open bed of a truck.  Your dog could be hit by debris or even jump out (if you he/she isn’t harnessed in).  The safest option is to crack your window, just enough so they can get their nose out to smell.  Be sure to turn your child window lock on; as their paws can accidentally open the windows!

Where Your Dog Should and Shouldn’t Sit

The best place for your dog is anywhere but the front seat.  Airbags deploy at an average of 200 miles per hour, and can seriously injure your pet if they are sitting in the front seat.  The best place for you dog in the car is towards the back of your car out of harm’s way.

Does Your Dog Need a Crate or Seat Belt?

Some dogs settle right down and take a nap as soon as you pull out of the driveway while others seem determined to explore every corner of your vehicle.  If you have a pup that is prone to exploring, a crate, barricade or seat harness might be the best option.  Though seat harnesses aren’t 100% proven to keep your pet safe in the event of an accident, they do protect you and your passengers.  If your dog is permitted to walk all over the car, they could potentially hit the gear box or block your sight line. Keeping your pet safely contained can be the best option for you and your passengers.

Long Trip? What to Bring:

Going on a longer trip, be sure to pack the essentials.  Just like you pack your suitcase and snacks for the road, you can make the trip comfortable for your pet too.

  • Bring some of their bedding and toys.  Scents that remind them of their home will make your pup more comfortable.
  • Don’t feed them right before you get on the road, a dog with a full stomach can mean car sickness.  Try to feed them at least 2-3 hours before you get on the road, and pack plenty of their regular food if it’s a long trip
  • Bring a bowl and a bottle filled with water.  Anyone who has tried to get their dog to drink out of a water bottle will tell you; it’s worth the trouble to pack their water dish.

A little planning can ensure that your car trip with your pet is as easy as possible!

Car Rides with Your Dog

There is no reason car rides shouldn’t be a pleasant experience for you and your dog.  Since transporting your pet, any other way can be significantly less safe and considerably more expensive, making your vehicle as comfortable and safe as possible for you, your family, and your pet is paramount.

This article has been  “Dallas” approved!

Copyright Riverside Automotive June 2017 | (dog friendly) | Author: Stephen Chernoble