Top tips for happy travels with your dog
So many dogs suffer from either car sickness or/and travel anxiety. The key is to understand just exactly what is going on inside your fur baby’s head, which is where these tips from canine expert Leon Towers can help!
Believe it or not, most puppies suffer from car motion sickness, and it’s very common for it to last for the first 12 months of their lives. Please don’t fall into the trap of buying expensive lotions and potions to cure the problem because the good news is that 9 times out of 10, after this time, it simply stops on its own.
If your puppy does suffer from car sickness, the worst thing you can do is to stop taking them anywhere in the car. This will cause even bigger problems later, especially if you need to make an emergency trip to the vets one day! The best way to help car sickness subside is to do very short 5-to-10-minute journeys around the block or down the road and back every day. This will undoubtedly help to combat motion sickness quite quickly!
One thing I hear about all too often is when a pet parent tells me that their dog enjoys watching the trees, cars, people, and other dogs when they are travelling in the back or the front of the car. They love it SO much that they say “Hello” to everything they see! I will explain what is going on in your dog’s head when they are saying “Hello”.
If your dog is barking, crying, and generally bouncing around like a box of frogs, they are NOT saying “Hello”. In reality, your dog is screaming at you to stop the car because they are so anxious it is causing them mental health problems On the other hand, if your dog is looking silently out of the window watching the world go by then THAT is a HAPPY DOG!
If your dog IS an anxious traveller, try using a travel crate for their journey. This is often seen as ‘cruel’ and ‘restricting’, but it’s the most KIND and LOVING thing you can do to keep your dog happy during travel because dogs feel more secure in a smaller space. Being tucked up in a travel crate with their favourite blanket is travel bliss! Most travel crates are made from cloth rather than metal (whichever suits your dog is fine and using a metal one for chewers would be advisable!) and the sides of the crate have a visor style material to help soothe your dog and make their trip a pleasant one. Make sure you choose the right size crate for your dog – once inside the crate, ensure your dog is able to stand up and also able to do a 360 turn.
My final tip is this:
1: If your dog IS a quiet stress-free traveller, ALWAYS make sure that your dog is attached to a dog safety seatbelt. It is against the law to have your dog running free in the car. Preferably use the back seat with a blanket under them if you have leather seats to stop them sliding around like a scene from Disney’s Bambi on ice!
2: If your dog ISN’T a stress-free traveller, then use a fold-out travel crate and either fasten it to the back seat with an appropriate fitting seatbelt OR place it in the back of an estate style open boot.
3: Avoid travel for up to 90 minutes AFTER feeding your pooch.
SAFE TRAVELS ON POOCH PATROL THIS SUMMER!