FIRST STEP: MAKE YOUR DOGS FEEL PLEASURE
We always assume that our dogs just pop into the car and travel as we do ourselves but it is worth noting that it is not always that simple. Ideally you should start when the dog is a tiny puppy because the loss of their littermates and mum makes them a little bit frightened anyway. If you are collecting the pup, try and have someone to keep him happy as you drive home and that his first experience is pleasant. There are a multitude of lovely carrying cases on the market that look like giant handbags and maybe one of those secured on the passenger seat might be a good idea for first trips to the vet and until he knows he will not be left alone.
Our young pup was fine going to the vet and happy in the surgery but left in the cage whilst I popped into the shop, he panicked and was sick in the ten minutes I was away. It also pays to carry paper towels and a waste bag for such emergencies.
BE PREPARED FOR POSSIBLE RISKS AND TRY TO MITIGATE THEM
A crate in the back of the car is the safest way for both you and your pet to travel once he is used to the car. There are a multitude on the market but it is sensible to have a cage with an escape door that can be accessed from the rear seat. If the worst happens and someone runs into the back of your car, it might be impossible to open the door normally and an escape facility may save your dog’s life.
Even when the dogs are safely in the cage, there is still a danger when the door is opened. Friends I met last week, had their three dogs in the rear crates with leashes on but they left the leash handles under the door of the crate so that they could be held before the door was opened. Everyone has their own ideas about safety but on a busy road you need to know that the dog cannot leap out and career off into the traffic.
Always travel with water and a bowl. Dogs become really dehydrated on long journeys and even on short ones, you only have to be caught up in a traffic hold up and be in the car much longer than you imagined. In hot weather, this is even more important. Hot weather is literally a killer for dogs left in cars with no windows open and they can be dead within twenty minutes. It is also a ghastly way to die and you would never forgive yourself if it happened to your precious pet.
ENJOY YOUR MEMORABLE TRIP WITH YOUR FRIENDS
On the other hand, to be able to open the car door and allow your pets to jump in and be really excited because they know a walk is in the offing, is something we would not be without. Even the screaming my two used to do when they were a mile from the beach was worth it, when they leaped out and raced over the sand dunes and down to the water’s edge.
My current Gordon Setters pile into the back as we travel about two miles to the forest and then they dash away to swim in peaty pools and chase each other up and down the tracks. They disappear into the mists. I always carry a dog whistle and several short blasts usually brings them all back in a rush, showering me with water and taking the mud into the car with them. Heigh-ho. They enjoy it, the walk is good for me and I can take photos of wild flowers as well as the dogs as we go. Thank heaven for the motor car.
Hi, I’m Brenda Leary. I have passion for dogs. My ambition is to found a community for dogaholics that everyone could share useful knowledge about dogs. Follow my steps at http://cuddleyourdogs.com/ to discover dogs’ daily routines, tips and advices on caring a dog/puppy and many many things about this wonderful world.