Love traveling and wondering how to keep a dog calm on a long car ride?
People love to explore different plateaus, hills, mountains, and deserts. They resort to traveling for escape and relaxation. Road trips are one such part of traveling that is exciting and adventurous. From navigating maps to stopping at places to enjoy the food or the view or the amazing people, it is a different experience. However, trips become even better with a friend on your side, and who can be a better travel buddy than your dog?
You love spending time with your dog, and this will be a great way for the two of you to see new places and make new memories together. No more worries about leaving your dog back home. Pack your pooch along for your next road trip. However, you will need to consider several things to keep your dog calm and comfortable during the trip. This article will help you with some tips on how to keep a dog calm on a long car ride.
Prepare Your Car
Before you leave for the trip, it is important to prepare your car for the trip. Equip your car with all the necessary items you and your dog might need during the trip. Pack your car with extra paper towels, plastic bags, disposable bags, disinfectants, medicines, supplements, clean water, air freshener, etc.
The list will depend on your destination as well. If you are traveling to a cold place, you might want to add some extra blankets or woolen bedding for your dog.
Compile some calming music that you can play for your dog during the car drive.
Ensure that you can drive safely without getting distracted. You can carry a dog crate to keep your dog in a safe spot. A dog crate serves as a safe spot for your pet and helps to reduce its anxiety. However, ensure that the crate has enough room for your pet to stand, turn, and move.
For some added safety, consider buying a harness that attaches to the seat belt in your car and keeps it safe in its place when the car is in motion.
ALSO READ: General Dog Care: Top 9 Tips You Must Follow
Prepare Your Dog
How long can a dog be in a car for a road trip? If it is your dog’s first trip, you might have to prepare it a bit. The first step is to start taking your dog for some car rides. Begin with a 30-minute car ride and gradually increase the time. It will get them used to being in the car and ease their anxiety or inhibition.
Ensure that your dog is up to date on vaccinations, deworming, and other medications. It serves as additional security against any illness. Similarly, check for fleas or ticks. You do not want your dog to be uneasy or scratching his way through the trip.
The most important part of preparing your dog is to get him micro-chipped. In our opinion, it is the most important and the best safeguard for an on-road dog. If your dog gets lost, you will know how and where to find him.
What to give a dog for a long road trip? Avoid road sickness by not over-indulging your pooch in its favorite snacks and drinks. Consult your vet for any medication to help with road sickness. Allow your dog enough sleep and breaks for some stretching and moving. Stopping at regular intervals is a good idea. Let your dog out of the car for a few minutes, and give it some fresh air and space to move, stretch, and stand.
Should I feed my dog before a long car ride? To avoid stomach problems, do not feed your dog right before the trip begins. Give it food and water at least an hour in advance. It will help in proper digestion and fulfilling that empty growling stomach. Wrong feeding habits or giving your dog something unsuitable might compel you to find out how to make a dog throw up.
Help Your Dog Remain Calm
Crates, belts, leashes, and medicines all help with the physical well-being of your dog, but mental well-being is equally important. All this preparation cannot help if your dog is anxious and scared throughout the trip.
You can ensure that your dog enjoys the road trip by doing several things.
- Make sure to stop at regular intervals. Letting your dog out of the car and crate for some time will calm it down. A breath of fresh air, a view of the wide roads, or an open field might soothe its anxiety.
- Carry your dog’s favorite toys. Toys can help stay engaged and feel more at home in the car.
- Try to keep the windows open. Open windows will not only let some fresh air in, but the constant beautiful views will also keep them entertained and engaged.
- How often to stop on a road trip with a dog? Stop for frequent bathroom breaks. Read the signs of nature’s call that your dog shows, and make sure they pee regularly and poop without feeling constipated. Stopping often to let them stretch a leg and straighten their back will keep them comfortable. The fresh air and open space will also help ease anxiety.
- No one minds some good music, including your pooch. Play the song your dog sleeps to or maybe the one it dances to. Whichever you think fits best should be the choice.
- Try to avoid speeding. While empty highways might excite you, do not forget about the passenger you are riding with. Dogs are not a big fan of speeding and get scared of high-speed cars. So make sure to control your foot on the accelerator.
Always pick hotels, transport, restaurants, and cafes that are pet-friendly. Do not leave your dog tucked away somewhere in your hotel or car while you enjoy the amazing food and view. Always take your dog wherever you go and include it in whatever you do. It will help them enjoy this whole concept, and then, there is no going back but only ahead to new destinations and places.
ALSO READ: Why getting a dog will change your life?
How Do I Know If My Dog Is Getting Anxious?
Should I take my dog on a road trip? All of us have struggled with this question at least once.
Not every dog gets accustomed to or is a fan of road trips. It is essential to understand and acknowledge the signs of anxiety to manage and treat them in time.
Can dogs handle long car rides? Being confined in the car or fast-moving vehicles for prolonged hours makes dogs uncomfortable.
Our dogs get in the car most often to go to the vet. So they may associate cars with pain. Take your dog for drives to the dog park or the beach to break this association.
While the symptoms vary, these are the ones that dogs most commonly exhibit.
- upset stomach
- making sounds
- aggressive behavior
- behavioral changes
- excessive sneezing, sniffing, and yawning
The key to how to keep a dog calm on a long car ride is getting everything that makes it feel at home, being prepared in advance for an emergency, mentally preparing your dog, and prioritizing their comfort, health, and satisfaction during the trip.