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Canine Car Safety: Essential Precautions for a Secure Road Trip

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Name: Photo by Tim Mossholder from Unsplash

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Alt text: long-coated dog looking out a car window

Imagine hitting the open road with your canine. The wind blowing across your faces, the scenery as you drive past places, and the endless joys you get to share. Well, you can experience all these as long as you keep your furry friend safe.

Whether you are taking your dog on a road trip for fun or out of necessity, you need to take all precautionary measures to ensure they are safe. This article contains helpful tips for a secure road trip with your canine companion.

Restrict Your Dog’s Movement

Leaving your dog to roam around freely in your car is never a good idea. This is because dogs are active creatures; hence, it is easy for them to distract you with excitement or fear. Unfortunately, this distraction could lead to an accident.

Furthermore, airbags are not designed for dogs. So, while they may protect you from injuries or worse, they may hurt your dog. Therefore, ensure that your dog is always in the backseat.

You can protect your furry friend by placing them in a carrier or crate and securing it with a seatbelt. Keep in mind that this crate needs to be big enough to not only contain your dog but allow them to move around a bit.

Some pet owners recommend using pet seatbelts, but those are not as effective in protecting your pet during a car crash.

Prepare a Doggy Travel Kit

Your canine companion needs to be catered to during the entirety of your trip. Hence, you need to pack items that would not only make them comfortable but may be required during the trip.

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For starters, make sure that you pack your dog’s health records. Also, be sure to include proof of immunizations, as you may need this when entering certain states.

Your dog’s travel kit should include food, a first-aid kit, medications, water, and bowls. You must also carry a few cleaning supplies like a scoop and waste bags. Consider including other creature comforts like 4Knines cargo liners, chew toys, and others.

Tire Your Dog

As stated earlier, dogs are quite excitable, and if this excess energy is not addressed before your trip, it might lead to some issues. So, to burn some of this energy, you can try giving your dog a workout.

Consider going for a run with them or simply taking them to a dog park. If these methods are not conducive for you, a simple play session in the backyard should suffice. After all, the goal is to tire your pup.

After exerting all that energy, your dog will feel more relaxed and may even fall asleep for a large portion of the trip. That said, if you are going on a long trip, it is important that you stop every two to three hours to allow your pup to burn off some more energy.

Note that dog energy levels differ based on breed, age, and other factors. Therefore, if your dog does not display signs of excess energy, you can skip this step.

Furthermore, if you would prefer your dog to be energetic during the trip, you do not have to tire them out. Keeping them in their crate should be enough to protect them.

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Identify Your Pup

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Name: Photo by Jamie Street from Unsplash

Alt text: tan dog with a collar on

It is not impossible for your dog to go missing during a trip, so identifying them makes it easier for you to reconnect with your furry friend.

One safety measure you can take is putting a collar with an ID tag on your dog. Remember that this collar needs to be flat, and you should avoid using a choke collar.

Make sure the ID tag contains your phone number and home address as well as the phone number and address of the place you’ll be staying.

Another measure you can take is microchipping your dog, as this would increase the odds of you finding your pup.

Never Leave Your Dog in the Car Alone

Under no circumstance should you leave your pup unattended in your car. For one, your dog may leave the car and get lost. Second, someone might take them.

Also, leaving your dog in the car during hotter weather can cause overheating, which leads to heat stroke or worse. This also applies to colder weather because dogs are susceptible to hypothermia during these periods.

Prep Your Canine for the Trip

Some dogs enjoy hopping in the car and going for a ride, but not all. Some become nervous and anxious during car trips. So, if your dog becomes scared or anxious in a vehicle, you can take them on practice trips to ease the tension.

Start slow, with rides lasting for a few minutes. After a while, you can increase the length of these drives. It is also a good idea to give them treats and pet them during these rides to help them associate car rides with good attributes.

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If you suspect your dog gets nauseous during drives, you can visit a vet and purchase some medications. The vet can also run some tests and confirm that your pup is fit for road trips.

Stick to an Appropriate Feeding Schedule

Even on the road, you need to maintain your dog’s feeding schedule. That said, you should not feed them in the car, as this could cause car sickness.

The best time to feed your dog is a few hours before hitting the road. The food you give them should be enough for a while before the next feeding session.

While on the road, stop when it’s time for the next meal. After eating, give your pup between 10 to 25 minutes to allow them to relieve themselves.

Conclusion

Taking your dog on a road trip is far from impossible. With the right tools and tricks, you can make sure that you and your dog are safe and that you both enjoy the journey.

This article contains all you need to know about maintaining safety on the open road. Hopefully, you can use this knowledge to your advantage. Good luck, and have a great time on the road!

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