Use a Crate or a Dog Barrier
If you’re planning to take your puppy on a car ride, it’s important to ensure their safety. Utilize a crate or a dog barrier to keep them securely contained. In case you cannot use either of these options and your only choice is to have your puppy sit on a car seat, make sure to have them wear a harness. Harnesses work like dog seat belts and are available in different sizes. They can be attached to regular car safety belts. To help your puppy adjust to wearing a harness, give it a trial run at home and praise them for wearing it before embarking on your journey.
Avoid Letting Your Puppy Stick Its Head Out of the Window
While it may seem like a lot of fun, allowing your puppy to hang its head out of the car window can be risky. Not only can it cause eye irritation, but there’s also a chance of your puppy getting injured by something you pass by. Moreover, there’s a risk of them slipping out of their harness and potentially jumping out of the window. You can still let them enjoy fresh air by slightly opening the window. On hot days, consider using a window guard that allows for increased ventilation without the risk of your puppy escaping.
Be Mindful of Hot Weather
During hot weather, it’s essential to take precautions to keep your puppy comfortable. You can purchase window shades that attach to the windows to prevent excessive sunlight from entering the car. Even with the windows down and proper sun protection, cars can heat up rapidly. It is crucial never to leave your dog unattended in the car on warm days, as it can be fatal.
Take Breaks on Long Car Journeys
If you’re embarking on a long car journey with your dog, make sure to incorporate regular breaks. Stop every couple of hours to allow both of you to take a toilet break, have a drink of water, and stretch your legs. Always ensure that your puppy is wearing its collar and ID in case they manage to escape.
Helping an Anxious Puppy during Car Travel
If your puppy gets anxious in the car, consult your vet about using synthetic pheromones. These pheromones are available in different formats, including dog bandanas. They emit scents that are similar to the ones produced by their mother, which help provide reassurance and relaxation for up to four hours. Additionally, try to provide something familiar in the car, such as a favorite toy or a rug that carries the scent of home. This is especially beneficial for young puppies.
Dealing with Car Sickness in Puppies
Car sickness is common in puppies, although some dogs outgrow it over time. To prepare for any accidents, place waterproof sheeting where your puppy usually sits or lies. It’s also advisable to carry plenty of paper towels and a cleaning spray in case of nausea. To reduce the chances of car sickness, avoid feeding your dog a full meal two to three hours before traveling. Take your dog for a walk just before setting off to alleviate any anxiety about needing to relieve themselves. If car sickness persists, consult your vet for advice.
Remember, progress may be gradual, so be patient with your puppy. With time, they will become familiar with car rides and associate the sound of the door shutting and the engine running with exciting journeys alongside a beloved travel companion. Enjoy the adventure, complete with off-key sing-alongs!
Discover more useful guides for welcoming your new pup home and ensure you have all the essentials covered, from vaccinations to neutering and puppy microchipping.