How to properly transport a dog in the car to maximize the safety of not only the animal, but also the driver and passengers. What are the preparations for a trip, especially if it will be a long one? These questions often arise from owners, regardless of the breed and size of the dog, whether it will be a small Jack Russell or an impressive-sized Saint Bernard.
Dog safety in the car
The rules of the road do not regulate the procedure for transporting a pet in a car. However, for your own safety and the safety of your pet while driving, you should arrange transportation in such a way that the dog does not interfere with driving.
Large dogs are usually transported in a specially equipped carrier. It is important that it is equipped with a grid that ensures a steady supply of air and protects the dog, for example in the event of sudden braking, from falling into the interior. The trunk should have a non-slip mat or blanket to ensure your pet’s comfort while driving.
How to Carry a Dog in the Car – Small breeds, such as the Jack Russell Terrier, or Toy Terrier, are carried in the interior of the car. They can be placed either in the front seat or the back seat, the important thing is that they are restricted from moving around. The store will offer you many options for special carriers, as well as car belts that are equipped with a buckle for animals. Its length should be adjusted so that your pooch will not fall off the seat when braking.
For many pets, a car trip is very stressful, especially if they rarely travel. Therefore, they may have a panic attack and inadequate behavior. This poses a direct threat to the safety of the puppy as well as the driver. For example, a Jjack Russell may jump into the arms of the owner, which can provoke an accident.
In the event of an accident, the animal becomes a live shell, which can lead to its death or injury to the passenger. Tests have shown that during a car accident, at a speed of 90 km/h, a dog weighing 9 kg receives an impact force of 450 kg. It is not hard to guess that if he is not properly secured, there is little chance of survival. It is also worth considering that there is a clear threat to the driver and other passengers here.
In stressful situations, dogs often have involuntary urination, which is also unpleasant. So before setting off one should be well prepared and everything should be done to make the trip smooth and comfortable for all involved.
How to train your dog to travel by car
The ideal is to accustom the dog from the puppy’s age. This way the dog gets used to it gradually, a car ride becomes routine for him.
If you’re planning a road trip with your four-legged friend and he’s rarely been in the car before, give him a chance to get used to it first. Take a few short trips with your dog before you head out on the road. This will allow him to get used to the noise of the engine, the sound of the brakes, and the need to stay in a conveyor belt, cage, or strapped in.
Be sure to check to see if your puppy has a problem while driving. Many animals suffer the same way humans do – while traveling, they can get motion sickness.
If it turns out that your pooch doesn’t tolerate riding well, then you’ll have time to prepare him. First of all, start riding with him more often, this will help get rid of his fears of the car.
You must learn to distinguish between normal puppy anxiety and symptoms of motion sickness. The reasons for anxiety are:
- panic attacks,
- loud barking.
If you notice your pet exhibiting these symptoms, be sure to reduce the amount of food before the planned trip or skip the feedings. Better yet, only give water to drink. However, if it turns out that your baby is having frequent bouts of vomiting in the car, consult your veterinarian. The doctor will prescribe a mild motion sickness medication. It works the same way it does for humans – it calms them down and makes them sleepy. Animals tolerate travel much better in this condition.
Rules for transporting dogs in a car
The general rules that breeders recommend are very simple:
- Be sure to make stops every two or three hours (to straighten paws, toilet, warm up and drink).
- If the journey is long, the dog should be fed, whether or not he suffers from motion sickness.
- Do not feed or give different goodies in the car, even if they feel like it. It’s not safe, especially with hard braking.
- If possible, do not travel during a heat wave. High temperatures, especially in the absence of air conditioning, are very hard for dogs.
- Equip the windows of your car with special sliding bars, so that they can be opened while driving for fresh air.
- Avoid drafts. Your pet may catch a cold, get conjunctivitis or otitis media.
- Give up the habit of playing music loudly in the car when your dog is there. Music can cause stress and malaise.
- Some pets tolerate travel better when their box is covered with a light cloth. This way, they have fewer outside stimuli.
- Try to drive smoothly and avoid sudden braking.
- Never leave a dog alone in a car.
- Do not let your dog stick his face out the window. This looks great in pictures, commercials and movies, but it is very dangerous.
Traffic regulations do not clearly state how you should transport your pet. Everyone is free to decide for themselves what way to choose to do this, the main thing is to ensure safety. A small dog like a Jack Russell can be held on the lap by a passenger. But this method is only suitable for traveling short distances.
To ensure the comfort during the trip, as well as the cleanliness of the cabin, you need to buy special accessories. These can be:
- seat covers,
- hammocks (with or without sides),
- car seat belts for pets.
A secure carrier is the safest way to transport pets. However, it “works” most effectively when selected, placed and equipped correctly. What criteria to follow and what to look for when buying a puppy carrier.
There are various sizes and shapes available on the market, making it easy to adapt the container to the size of the pooch.
The right size of the carrier is key – it should be big enough so that the dog has enough room to lie down, turn around and sit. Such a container should be securely fastened to the backseat using the isofix system or car seat belts.
A small cage can be placed on the floor in front of or behind the front seat. A comfortable bedding is placed inside the carrier to ensure your pet’s comfort. The lattice top not only provides fresh air, but allows the pet to see everything clearly and not create a feeling of enclosure.
The plastic container does not require special care, it is easy to wash and disinfect. This is especially true when the puppy has a hard time riding in a vehicle and may have attacks of vomiting.
Do not use the classic wicker baskets as a carrier. They look very cute, a small dog like a Jack Russell is comfortable in them, but only at home. They are not suitable for travel, their main protective function will not perform. The same can be said about fashionable carrier bags. They are designed for walking.
If you decide to buy a carrier container, go to the store with your pet to find the perfect size for his needs.
Another way to keep your dog safe in the car is with a seat belt or a special system that attaches directly to the car belts. This ensures that the dog will not be able to move around in the car, but will feel free.
It’s best to put a seat belt on the back seat, because then the dog will have more space and less chance of disturbing the driver.
Auto belts include a harness with a wide chest belt, so they don’t cut into the body and provide a good hold. They are made of durable material, the size is individually selected. Special loops allow you to quickly attach (detach) your pet to the car’s regular belts.
Covers, capes, auto hammocks for dogs
Dog owners know very well how difficult it is to get rid of the smell of a dog in the car, especially if the puppy makes a puddle on the seat, or from the ubiquitous hair. Regular cleaning, washing, and dry cleaning can’t quite do the job. Therefore, it is better to prevent trouble than to eliminate its consequences.
A special cover, cape or car hammock will help to ensure a clean interior when transporting a dog. They are made of thick fabric, waterproof, easy to wash and clean. Carpets and capes are often fastened to the seats with Velcro, rubber bands or cords.
Hammocks attached to the headrests of the front and rear seats. In this way, the back seat gets an isolated dog space.
There are models of hammocks with sides, installing them you get a kind of box with soft walls. In such a “house” the dog feels free and comfortable. They are ideal for those animals that are afraid of enclosed space.
Cages and partitions for the trunk
It is recommended to transport large breeds of dogs in a specially equipped car trunk. True, not all car models are suitable for this, only a hatchback or station wagon. The trunk must have a comfortable non-slip mat, where the dog can freely lie.
To separate the interior use lattice partitions. They are very popular due to the ease of installation and efficiency. In case of sudden braking, your pet will not “fly” through the whole car, but he can move freely in the space set aside.
A good option would be to purchase a trunk cage.
How to get your dog used to a carrier or cage
My pet doesn’t want to go into a carrier or cage! This is a problem many pet owners face. How to train them to such necessary devices without unnecessary stress, aggression and disobedience.
There are some simple tips from cynologists.
- Once you’ve purchased a dog carrier or kennel, make sure to introduce puppy to the familiar surroundings.
- Introduce him to new things to sniff, throw in his favorite toys and try to keep him engaged. Do this in a relaxed way, preferably while he’s playing.
- Take the first trips to pleasant places, such as long walks.
- If the dog is afraid to be in a cage, he should preferably have someone whom he trusts by his side when he travels.
Safety and common sense are priorities when traveling with your dog. Do not let your dog run around in the car, lie by the back window or peek out the open window. A moment of inattention, sudden movement on the road, or a honking horn can stress your pet out, or cause an accident.