Tips when travelling with your pets in the car

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Pet car seat

A road trip with your dog in your car can be a very enjoyable activity for you and your pet if you do it right. While a portable pet ramp helps larger animals get into a car, the biggest problem for pets in cars is the stress. They sense the motion but they are confused as to how they are moving. The constant swinging sensation that they experience can disorient them and they begin to feel stressed. Another cause for stress for pets is the anticipatory fear. If you take your dog in your car only to take him to the vet, he will associate the car journey with a trip to the vet. He will not be able to relax in the car because he anticipates a trip to the vet. To overcome these problems, you can keep a few pointers in mind.

  • Take your dog out in the car for short drives every now and then. Let him know that a drive is a fun activity and he can see and smell many new things.
  • Don’t restrict car journeys only to the vet. Take him in the car to parks and beaches if possible. He will associate the car journey with fun. He will be more relaxed during the drive.
  • Once he is used to travelling in the car without anxiety, it becomes easy to take him on a long drive.
  • Make sure your dog gets to drink water before and after the drive. Usually, dogs tend to get a little excited on the drive and they can get thirst afterwards.
  • If you are going on a long drive, make sure you take frequent breaks to give him water and also to let him take care of his bathroom needs.
  • If you notice him becoming anxious and uncomfortable, pull over and let him relax outside.
  • Do not let him sit on your lap when you are driving. If possible, restrict him to the backseat where he can move around and stretch himself without distracting you.
  • If you are worried about dog hair shedding all over your car seats, you can pick up a pet car seat. They are like drapes for your car seats so that your pet can sit on them and you can eliminate the hair by just unlatching the pet car seat and shaking it outside to get rid of the pet hair. Pet seats are easily installed and they are very easy to clean. If you have more than one pet, you can pick up a 2 pet car seat which accommodates two large dogs comfortably.

If your dog doesn’t manage to overcome his anxiety, consult a veterinarian. The vet might be able to help your canine friend with anxiety medication. If possible, train your dog to overcome the anxiety himself. That is always better than using anxiety medication. Have fun driving with your pet!

Guest Blogger: Anirudh Annam

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