Knowing good car safety tips is important so your dog is comfortable and safe in the car. From an early age, we need to escort our pups to places that require a vehicle, like the vets or the dog park.
There are a number of things to contend with when driving your dog somewhere. Here are our car safety tips for your dog to ensure you’re both safe no matter how long or short the journey.
Train Them Early
A dog should be familiarised to a car as soon as possible. Dogs that are familiar and comfortable with cars early on have fewer issues with them. Dogs who are unfamiliar can become over-excited or stressed at the prospect of a car ride.
Train the dog to get in and out of the car themselves (don’t plonk your dog in yourself – if they’re short, provide a leg-up, but they must make the decision themselves). Reward them for getting in themselves so they learn to see the car as having positive connotations.
Next, have them sit in the car until they are comfortable. Try running the engine, showing them the window screen wipers, honking the horn, putting the radio on – things you would expect to see and hear on an average car ride.
Once they are comfortable with these basics, it’s time to take them on a short journey. Gradually build this up until your dog is comfortable no matter what the distance.
Like a human, your dog must be properly strapped in. This is to:
- Stop them climbing all over the car while you’re trying to drive
- Prevent them from falling out an open window
- Stop them from distracting the driver
- Protect them in the event of an accident
There are plenty of products on the market, like dog seat buckles and harnesses, that will make this easy.
Ensure your dog is not travelling on a full stomach as this can cause motion sickness. If your dog is prone to car sickness (which is common in puppies), purchase some anti-sickness tablets from your vet.
Provide a nice comfortable towel or blanket for your dog to lie on.
Ensure you bring other essentials like a dog first-aid kit, a bowl for their water, and so on.
Remember – never leave your dog in a hot car, as temperatures can reach life-threatening levels incredibly quickly.