When you have dogs, you know that repetition is key. Any time you introduce your pups to something or someplace new, they get excited, and it may take them a while to calm down and listen. This is amplified with car rides if you don’t have everything set up and ready before your trip, so let’s talk about the best ways to travel long distances with dogs to get the most out of your trip and make it a positive experience.
Take Several Initial Short Trips
Dogs respond well to repetitive conditioning, which means that if you’re training them and do the same actions over time, they will learn from it. If you apply this same technique to traveling and take them on a few short trips, you can expect things to start out turbulent, but your furry friend will get a feel for it over time. Every time you do things exactly the same way, your dog should become a little more comfortable until they hop in the back of the car and lay down on their own.
Feed Them Light
Make sure that you bring snacks with you while you’re on your trip. When you feed your dogs, feed them with half of what you normally would so that you can supplement with snacks along the way. This will keep their bladder and intestines from getting full so that they can ride for longer. You should still let them out often for breaks so that they can get fresh air and relieve themselves if needed, but it’s never a good idea to overfeed them.
Never Leave Them
So many people leave their animals in parked cars, and it is never the correct answer. Under no circumstances should you ever leave your dogs alone. They could hurt themselves or even suffer fatally due to suffocation or heat stroke. If you see a dog left alone in a car in public, you should immediately contact the authorities.
Set Up Seat Covers
Instead of buckling your pets into car seats or belt buckles, invest in a car seat cover for the back of your vehicle. This gives them plenty of room to walk around and find a nice spot. It also allows them to get up and look around when they need to so that they don’t feel confined to one spot, which will ease their minds. A cover also helps to keep dander and smells down inside the vehicle.
ID Your Pets
Before you leave the house, make sure that your pets have their collars with their IDs on them. That way, if something happens and they end up missing, you can be contacted about them. The last thing you want is for your animal to get loose and not have a way of getting them back. This, unfortunately, happens very often, but you can prevent it if you make sure your pets have their IDs with them.
When traveling long distances with your dogs, keep these handy tips in mind. As long as you keep your wits about you and prioritize your pup, you’ll both enjoy the ride.