Going out on a road trip with your family and want to take your dog? Let’s ensure that your road trips goes smoothly for your family and your dog. Here are a few tips to make your road life easier: 

Crate Training

It’s easy to put your dog in a crate and load it up in the back or clip the seatbelt over it. But before getting into that, make sure your dog is crate-trained and is used to being in the crate. If not, you can start off by throwing in treats inside the crate and let your dog walk in and get familiar with the crate. 

Make sure to make the crate a positive experience for your dog. Start off by doing this indoors before putting the crate in the car. Let your dog come and go inside the crate while you’re at home by tossing in food or treats in there. 

 

Safety First! 

Not a fan of the crate? Clip your dog to your belt buckle. If your dog is the type to jump back and forth in his seat, you can put a seatbelt on him or clip his buckle onto your belt buckle. But again, the crate is the safest option! 

 

Practice makes perfect!

Practice long drives with your dog gradually. Your dog may do well in a 15 or 20 minute car ride but if you’re planning to go for long haul road trips, you may want to practice that now. Start off by positively reinforcing short rides with toys and treats. Increase car ride times gradually from 15 minutes to 30 minutes and then 45 minutes and so on. 

 

Desensitization Training

Alleviate anxiety and stress in road trips through desensitization training. Take note if your dog gets triggered by the different sounds of the car while you’re setting up to leave (i.e. turning on the engine, airconditioning— anything that signals your dog that you are all leaving or taking a drive). Try to notice if your dog has any sort of reaction to these sounds or actions. 

A good way to practice these things is to take your dog out to the car (even if you’re not going out for a drive) and do the things you normally do when you’re leaving– opening the door, turning on the engine, etc. Then, take note of your dog’s reaction to these things.  

As you do these little things, give your dog treats. Create positive experiences through treats when these stressful situations are happening before you go in a car whether for a long ride or just a short trip. 

 

On The Road Essentials

  • (On long rides) Take breaks every 2-3 hours, especially for younger dogs like puppies who have smaller bladders.
  • Treats
  • Blankets (anything that would make your dog feel comfortable during the ride)
  • Stuffed Kong or anything that your dog loves chewing at to keep your dog preoccupied. (Chewing is an exhausting activity for your dog which helps calm them down

 

Motion Sickness

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