Ellen Britt for CNT #wooftips
Many dogs love to ride in the car, so why not take him with you the next time you are going on a trip? With a little prepration, your dog can make a great traveling companion.
One – Before you leave, make sure you have everything with you that your dog needs to be safe and comfortable, including a container of fresh water, drinking and eating bowls, a sturdy leash and other necessities.
Two – Be sure to feed your dog about three hours prior to leaving, as this will give his digestive system time to process the food and there will be less chance of car sickness.
Three – Use a harness restraint system to secure your dog to the back seat. An unrestrained dog has a much higher chance of being injured or killed in an accident and can also pose a hazard to the human occupants of the vehicle.
Four – Don’t give food or treats to your dog during the trip. Food and treats can contribute to motion sickness and your dog could also choke while eating in a moving vehicle.
Five – Because some dogs get motion sickness when riding in a car, start out with short trips and build up to see how your dog is going to react. If you dog continues to have motion sickness and you must travel with him, consult your veterinarian to see if you can get a prescription for a medication to ease his symptoms.
Six – Build in plenty of pit stops. These rest breaks are good for both you and your dog. Let her walk about and stretch her limbs, do her business and give her a small amount of water if she’s thirsty. Be sure to keep your dog restrained on her leash during pit stops to avoid accidents.
Seven – Keep the car windows closed and don’t allow your dog to ride with his head out the window. As much as dogs seem to enjoy doing this, the practice can damage their eyes. Moving air will dry out their corneas and can cause pain and eye problems.
Bonus Tip – Be sure you keep the air temperature in the car cool enough for your dog. Good ventilation is essential and it goes without saying that if you have to get out of your car in warm weather, never leave your dog inside. The interior of cars can overheat in just a few minutes causing your dog to have a heatstroke and die.
By Ellen Britt
Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.