Top Tips for Long Car Rides With Dogs: Road Trips 101

Use a Leash and Collar for On-Road Exercise

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With summer just around the corner, many of us are looking forward to taking long car rides with our four-legged friends. But before you start packing up your bags and getting ready for a two-week road trip across the United States, here are some tips on how to make sure your pup has as much fun as you do!

Top Tips for Long Car Rides With Dogs: Road Trips 101

Are you planning a summer road trip vacation and taking your dog along for the ride? How can pet lovers travel safely on the road this summer with their canine companions? Here are five tips for summer road trips with dogs.

Tips for Long Car Rides With Dogs

We have come up with 5 top tips to make that summer road trip a breeze when with your pooch – besides the obvious like making sure that your pup has all their vaccinations before heading out on vacation so that we avoid any problems along the way.

Also check what kind of travel accessories such as carriers, bowls, and leashes will work best for them when staying at hotels with limited space. Your four-legged friend might appreciate some treats while traveling too!

Tips for Long Car Rides With Dogs: Use Secure Seating

Each year, countless dogs are injured inside moving vehicles, particularly during sudden stops, swerves, and vehicular accidents. Un-tethered animals may stumble, fall, or be catapulted through the interior of a car or truck, winding up with broken bones and other injuries. Others may be harmed by loose objects that fall upon them inside a vehicle.

Do dogs need seat belts inside vehicles for on-the-road safety? Certainly, vehicular safety belts and harnesses are available for pets. Some of these products attach to existing seat belts, while others may be factory installed.

Although pet seat belts are not legal requirements, many dog owners do choose to use them to prevent injuries. Other pet owners put their smaller dogs in airy pet crates to keep them secure inside moving vehicles.

This link goes to a Youtube Video that shows you what can happen to dogs that aren’t secured in the car.

Dogs should not be held on drivers’ laps during on-road travel, as this can be both dangerous and distracting. In addition, a pet may be crushed by the sudden employment of a vehicular airbag.

An important thing to remember is that dogs can’t always tell when their owner is about to make a sudden stop. This often results in the dog being thrown forward and hitting its head on the front dash or windshields, which can cause serious injury. A harness will help prevent this from happening by holding your pup back during sudden stops.

Personally, we like this seatbelt – it clips into your dog’s harness on one side and clicks right into the seatbelt of your car on the other. It comes in a set of 2 so you can leave it inside each of the family cars and never be without.

Don’t Put Pets in Pickup Truck Beds

In many regions, humans may not legally ride in the back of a moving pickup truck. However, few areas have laws restricting this practice with pets.

This form of canine transport can be very hazardous, as dogs may fall or fly out of pickup truck beds on bumpy roads or with sudden stops, spins, or swerving. In addition, pets placed in the back of pickup trucks for travel are exposed to the elements, flying or falling debris, and other hazards.

Furthermore, many pickup truck beds are not large enough to accommodate most dogs. A dog that is too big for the bed of a pick-up may have difficulty balancing or slipping out from underneath the vehicle while in transit on bumpy roads or at high speeds.

If you are going just 25 miles an hour and have to stop suddenly? The force of the impact would make your dog fly out of the truck bed. More than 20 feet.

Ouch.

Tips for Long Car Rides With Dogs: Take Water Breaks

Long-distance road trips may take several hours, and dogs undoubtedly require periodic water breaks. Compassionate and cautionary pet owners will offer dogs fresh, clean water (not roadside puddles, which may be contaminated with chemicals or other hazards) and an opportunity to potty outside their vehicles. (Of course, dog owners will want to pick up after their pets, if necessary.)

How often should you take a water break with your dog? It depends on the size of your dog, how long you’ve been traveling and if they have access to water in their carrier or crate.

For instance, a large-breed pup may require more frequent breaks than a toy breed. Some dogs will need break relief after an hour or so while others can go much longer between potty stops during their car ride.

The key is to pay attention and let your dog be the guide for their needs.

Use a Leash and Collar for On-Road Exercise

Far too many pets may be injured or even killed in roadway accidents. Others may be bitten or maimed (or even bred) by unfamiliar dogs in rest areas, parks, or other roadside stopping points.

Many of these tragedies may be avoided by the use of collars and leashes (or pet harnesses) during road trips. Even the most obedient dogs may become confused or overexcited in unfamiliar surroundings, so compassionate restraint is well advised.

How often should you stop for exercise?

Again, this is dependent on the size of your dog and its needs.

If you have a large breed pup? They may require more frequent exercise breaks than smaller breeds and toy dogs. You should also be mindful that some breeds are simply not built for long-distance walks — they’re just too small or leggy.

The key is to pay attention and let your dog be the guide for their needs.

Use a Leash and Collar for On-Road Exercise

Never Leave Pets Unattended in Vehicles

This is a difficult one to state — but it’s important that we make this clear: never leave dogs unattended inside of vehicles (even with windows cracked or left open) on days when temperatures are above 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

Although most dogs seem to enjoy traveling in moving vehicles, often with their ears and jowls flapping in the wind, a parked car presents a completely different scenario.

Within just a few minutes, the interior of a stationary vehicle on a hot day may reach dangerous levels. Even with the windows open, a car’s inside temperature may exceed 120 (F) degrees – potentially causing heatstroke, brain damage, heart failure, and even death for pets trapped inside.

By taking a few precautions, pet lovers can enjoy summer road trips with their canine companions. Of course, it’s also a good idea to take along each dog’s health records (including verification of current immunizations) and to affix identification tags on each dog’s collar.

The dog days of summer can be an ideal occasion for traveling with treasured pets.

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