It’s always nice to take a quiet drive through the country on a sunny afternoon. Except when you’re travelling with your rather excitable pooch! There are lots of reasons why our furry friends like to shout out when they’re in the back of the car. The trouble is, all that noise and jumping about can be very distracting for you as a driver. This, in turn, can become very dangerous on the move.
If you’re finding your dog is distracting you, it’s best to pull over and give him some time outside. It’s not fair on either of you to continue the journey. Another reason for stopping and spending some time with your pup is so you can check everything is OK. Something as silly as a pebble stuck between the toes, or an insect sting to the muzzle could have caused all that fuss. Or maybe they simply needed a bathroom break!
The back of the car is a small space for an active dog. It can get very warm back there, even with climate control. And if an insect or bug has managed to get in, your dog could become quite uncomfortable or even ill. It’s important you consult a vet when this happens. You can usually check out a good veterinary website that’s full of advice. Alternatively, pop in to the nearest vet clinic if it’s an emergency.
Travel bowls for water are handy in the car. They’re not guaranteed to be spill free, but they provide that all-important hydration. While most of us love the sight of a dog’s ears flapping in the breeze as they poke their head out of the car window, it’s not entirely safe. The impact of debris or insects on their eyes at that speed can cause serious problems. And a stone kicked up from the wheels of the car in front can crack your windscreen. It’s awful to imagine what it could do to your pup’s skull.
When you’re travelling a long distance, plan the stops and breaks. Select places to stop that are pet-friendly, and pack the right harness or collar to make good use of a long walk there. Try not to drive longer than about two or two and a half hours without a stop. It’s good for you too! If your canine friend is drinking plenty, chances are they’ll be glad of a quick bathroom break too. It also means less mess in the car for you!
Some dogs need extra training to be comfortable with car travel. Humans can easily feel car sick. Some canines can too. Speak to your local puppy or dog trainer for advice if your pet isn’t keen to get into the car and settle. There are many different coping techniques you can both try to reduce the amount of stress and barking you suffer. If the problem has just started, then take your dog along for just the short journeys for a while. You can begin to build up the time in the car gradually. Safe driving.