Posted in About Me and What I do, Traveling

Traveling by car with your dog

Hello everyone, I apologize it has been so long since I have posted. My husband (a police officer) got hit by a car (felon trying to get out of a ticket) so I have been taking care of him for the last 2 weeks.

Which brings me to todays topic. Traveling with your dog in a car. Here are tips I have learned in my years of driving long distance with a dog in the car, only to be improved upon this last few weeks.

For shorter trips like 6 hours or less here is what you need:

  • Pet restraint – Weather it is a crate, a seatbelt buckling harness, or a barrier so your pet stay in the portion of the car you want them in.
  • Carpet/seat protector – weather it is just a sheet, or tarp or a made for dogs seat protector this will help contain the pet hair, dirt from paws or their coat, and for that occasional upset stomach puddle from the bouncing of the road.
  • Water bottle – an easy bottle for your pup to drink out of.
  • Poop bags – poop picker upper bags for those rest stops when they just have to go. You don’t want to be that person that everyone hates because their dog poops and then someone else steps in it.
  • First aid kit – I don’t carry a first aid kit but better safe then sorry. Dog seem to get into everything when we turn our back for half a second and who know what could happen.
  • Wipes – weather it is baby wipes, Lysol, or wet ones its nice to have them on hand! Traveling with dogs there is always a mess to clean up somewhere and it is better to clean them up fast then letting them sit there and soak into the seat.
  • Toys – something to keep your pup busy when they are not asleep. If you pup has that special blanket or toy that keeps them calm don’t forget that either. The more calm your pet is the better.
  • Treat – I give my pups something when we get where we are going, weather it is a pigs ear or a bacon strip I like to give them something special when we get where we are going. Most of the time we are going to our second house and seeing family and the other dogs is enough of a treat for my dogs but when we are going to a hotel I give them a treat.

 

 

For longer trips 7 hours or more:

  • Pet restraint – Weather it is a crate, a seatbelt buckling harness, or a barrier so your pet stay in the portion of the car you want them in.
  • Carpet/seat protector – weather it is just a sheet, or tarp or a made for dogs seat protector this will help contain the pet hair, dirt from paws or their coat, and for that occasional upset stomach from the bouncing of the road.
  • Water bottle – an easy bottle for your pup to drink out of.
  • Poop bags – poop picker upper bags for those rest stops when they just have to go. You don’t want to be that person that everyone hates because their dog poops and then someone else steps in it.
  • First aid kit – I don’t carry a first aid kit but it is not a bad idea. Dog seem to get into everything when we turn our back for half a second and who know what could happen.
  • Wipes – weather it is baby wipes, or wet ones its nice to have them on hand! Traveling with dogs there is always a mess to clean up somewhere and it is better to clean them up fast then letting them sit there and soak into the seat.
  • Food – on a normal short trip I don’t feed my dogs until we get where we are going to avoid upset stomach but if your going on a longer trip it is best to feed a small handful of food every hour or so. Not much food but enough to keep them content.
  • Toys – something to keep your pup busy when they are not asleep. If you pup has that special blanket or toy that keeps them calm don’t forget that either. The more calm your pet is the better.
  • Treat – I give my pups something when we get where we are going, weather it is a pigs ear or a bacon strip I like to give them something special when we get where we are going. Most of the time we are going to our second house and seeing family and the other dogs is enough of a treat for my dogs but when we are going to a hotel I give them a treat.

Now I know what you are thinking… that’s a lot of stuff just for the dogs. Where am I going to put all of that? and how am I going to ensure my dogs don’t get to the treats or food while I am driving. Seat Back Organizers, and Car Organizing Baskets, are life savers when it comes to this. I put the treats up front with me in my cooler snack bag so I know they aren’t getting into them. I put their food in with the luggage so they can’t get into that either. After a bag of treats “go missing” you figure out very quick that the dogs are smarter than you and that “hiding” them is not enough.

 

Now some people call me mean because for a short trip I do not feed my dogs in the morning. and I don’t feed them until we get where we are going. Any trip over 8 hours (which never happens) I give them bits of food through out the day. Now my dog are open feed at home which means the food is down 24/7 and I fill it up when it is empty. I know my dogs don’t eat much in the morning anyways so I am not worried about them “missing” that feeding. As soon as we get where we are going I put out there food and they don’t normally touch it until about 7 o’clock. With that being said most of my trips are 3-4 hours long, so I don’t give them water either until we get where we are going.

Before leaving the house: We typically leave the house around 10 o’clock when we go on a trip. I pack most everything the day before, clean the house, do laundry and everything else. I then make a list for the morning stuff. (razor, hair brush, toothbrush, etc.) I put the dog food in a Travel dog food container. I also grab their leashes and collars, and their electric training collars, their extra food bowls and I have them sitting on top of the washer to grab while walking out the door the next day. As I am packing the car/truck the morning of leaving I have the dogs out of the house and running around for two reasons, to get some energy out so they will sleep for a bit and so they can go to the bathroom. I put the sheet over the back seat and have their leashes and collar close to the door for when we stop to go potty. (Command hooks work great!! attach the hook just inside the door and hang the lease and collar there for easy access. This way they don’t wander under the seat and you know where they are.)

Also before I leave I use dog shampoo wipes or waterless shampoo and wipe down the dog really quick. These little wipes will clean your pup up a bit, remove that weird dog smell and replace it with a fresh smell of your choice. This will help keep your vehicle smelling much less like dog.

 

Well I hope you all enjoyed this post and if you have anything else to add please add them in the comments. If you have any questions feel free to email me at germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

 

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Author:

I am a down home Country Woman, and I love to train dogs, and horses. I have produced my own training curriculum through my years. The following blog posts are all my beliefs and how I like to train. If you ever have questions or comments that you would like to email me directly please feel free to email me at germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

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