Some dogs take naturally to car travel; they’re the ones you see with their noses out the window, reveling in the ever-changing sights and smells. Others, however, may need a little coaxing, especially if their car trips always end up at the vet’s office. So, start out with short daily rides. Take her someplace nice, let her run around and have fun. Gradually increase the length of the rides. Once your dog is comfortable in the car, you’re ready to hit the road:
- Before the drive, take your dog for a good long walk.
- Don’t feed her within three hours of the car trip; that minimizes the danger of car sickness.
- Bring drinking water; she’ll need some whenever you make a stop.
Arrived at your destination? Now’s the time to feed her.
If you use a carrier (and it is the safest way for your dog to travel), remember to keep it away from the sunny side of the car; you don’t want your dog to become overheated.
SAFETY FIRST: You’re going to be stopping in unfamiliar places, so always leash your dog before letting her out of the car.
JUST IN CASE: It’s important that your dog wear a collar with license and ID at all times. It’s best to have your cell phone number on the ID, especially if you and your dog travel a lot. Consider having a microchip implanted in your dog.
AND REMEMBER: Never, ever, leave your dog in a closed car, regardless of the weather. Even on a mild day, temperatures in a car can rise quickly even if the windows are open slightly.