Your pet dog
should be home trained before you think about
taking car journeys with him, able to recognise
his own space for sleeping and obey your basic
commands, this can make it easier for him to
transfer his familiar home experiences to this
new “car environment”.
introducing your dog (puppy or adult) to the
new idea of car travel should be taken slowly,
you should start with a basic introduction to
his new travel area, ideally the back seat or
behind that if convenient and open. Try placing
some familiar possessions here to make him feel
at home. Initially don’t start the engine
and leave a door open while you pet and talk
to him. When you think he seems comfortable
being in the car you can start taking him for
some short rides, try going to places he might
be familiar with and likes, however it is essential
to vary the journeys you take, don’t just
use the car to visit the park or your vet, dogs
will learn by association and if they associate
a car journey with just pleasurable or stressful
visits they may get over-excited or become anxious
and stressed on any subsequent journeys.
As soon as you feel your dog is at ease with
these short journeys and likes the idea of getting
into “his favourite spot” in your
car he will be ready for longer journeys, which
will require some advance planning.
longer journeys it is better if your dog is
made secure whilst travelling, try using a harness,
doggy seat belt, carrier or crate (if your car
is big enough), all are readily available to
buy. One of these methods will help restrain
any bored dog who might want to move around
One of his familiar
blankets to make him feel comfortable is also
a good idea and can encourage sleep. Take some
toys, both old favourites and even a few new
should be planned to allow time for comfort
stops, all dogs will need to stretch their legs
with a short walk, get some fresh air and take
You should carry
plenty of liquids and food for your dog and
try not to feed him for a few hours before you
leave also try to feed only small amounts of
food when on the journey.
It is essential
your dog has sufficient ventilation, even if
your car has air conditioning try to leave a
nearby window open slightly, but must not be
wide enough for him to get his head out which
is both dangerous for the driver and the dog.
At any stops
you make, where you take your dog out of the
car ensure he is put on a secure lead before
allowing him outside.
to consider is consulting your vet before undertaking
your first long journey, vets are usually happy
to offer advice and even supply any suitable
medication that could alleviate stress, anxiety
and possible car motion sickness.
Some dog breeds
will be happier travelling in cars than others,
choosing the right dog breed could save you,
the owner, a lot of stress and anxiety.
suggestions will hopefully make your journey
stress free and you can realise the pleasure
of a car journey with a happy and contented
dog; no one constantly asking questions, telling
you the best route to take, commenting on your
driving or asking how much longer will it be?