It’s finally summer!
Ball-chasing, head-out-the-window, helping-you-finish-your-hot dog-SUMMER.
Summer, in case you didn’t know, is a dog’s favourite season. We love that you are so relaxed and happy. We love all the extra kids in our park, all the great smells, and those crazy shoes you wear that make it so easy to surreptitiously smell your feet.
But most of all we love going places with you. When we see you piling all that stuff in the car, we can tell by how much eye contact you’re making whether we’re in for a really awesome adventure, or a short drive to the kennel.
We hate the kennel. We’d rather be with you at all times, but you knew that.
We LOVE going places with you.
Fortunately, with some help from my human, I’ve compiled a helpful list of hints that can make it easier for you to take your dog on a summer of adventure.
How to Safely Road Trip with your Dog
The best time to teach your dog how to ride in the car is when the dog is still a puppy, but an older dog can learn how to travel too.
Anything that is unrestrained in your vehicle can become a dangerous projectile in a collision. Murphy likes to play water fetch to maintain his figure, but definitely does not want his full 80 lbs crashing forcefully into the people he loves.
For your safety and your dog’s, it’s important to restrain your dog in the car. There are several good doggy seatbelts available in pet stores, or you could secure a crate or cage in the back seat or rear compartment (don’t forget to strap it down! see above rule on unsecured objects). Small dogs should be taught that their carrier is a fine hang-out spot. Carriers can be left open and accessible at all times so the dog gets lots of practice with entries and exits and develops positive associations.
So, we’re all packed, gassed-up, music is playing, I’ll just put my head out the window and we’ll hit the open road? Not quite. As appealing as it is to see the blissful look on a dog’s face who has his ears and jowls flapping in the wind, this is actually quite dangerous for your dog. An insect or flying gravel can easily injure an eye, and it can be a bit hard to breathe. Better to ensure adequate ventilation near your dog’s seat or carrier for the trip, which can also cut down on car-sickness.
Many hotel chains now let you stay with your pets and will indicate their pet-friendliness on their website. Plan ahead to make sure you and your buddy have a comfortable and welcoming place to stay.
*Stay tuned for the next installment of tips from Murphy, the dog with a blog!*