Traveling can be a very stressful time for your dog. Some dogs aren’t phased by having to get into the car, whereas others find it a little traumatic, and even become travel sick. As taking your dog on car journeys is sometimes unavoidable, for example taking them to the vets, or to boarding kennels, it is important to know how to keep them calm and make the traveling as stress-free and relaxed as possible.
We thought we would share some tips with you on how you can keep your dog calm in the car, and create a relaxed and comfortable environment for them!
Perhaps it is the actual motion of the travel that your dog doesn’t like. If this is the case, we advise that you drive carefully and slowly and try to avoid any uneven and bumpy surfaces as this can be unsettling for your dog, especially if they are travel sick.
Carry plenty of water
No matter how long or short the journey is, you should always carry water for your dog. Whether you give them a drink in the car, or you have it on hand to fill up a bowl for them when you stop, it is always important to have plenty of water for your dog, especially if they are getting worked up and stressed out.
As with food, this depends on your dog and how they cope with traveling and car sickness. If they tend to get ill, avoid feeding them right before the journey and if you do, only give them a small portion. However, if your dog isn’t phased, it is sometimes good to carry treats that you can give to them when you stop for breaks or reach your destination as a reward.
Whether it keeps them occupied for the journey or brings them comfort, we would always recommend bringing some of your dogs favourite toys with them in the car. It can create a great distraction for them during the journey. Furthermore, if you are traveling for quite a lengthy period of time, it means that when you stop for breaks along the way, you can let your dog out for some fresh air and and give them a toy or a ball to play with for a while to burn off some energy.
Create a comfortable environment
This is the best thing you can do to keep your dog calm in the car. Actually getting them into the car can be a bit of an ordeal and cause them a lot of stress. It can also take them a while to settle, if they manage to settle at all once they are in the car. In order to make this easier for your dog and a little less daunting, you should make the environment as comfortable as possible for them. Put a bed in the car for them, or some blankets. It needs to be comfortable, cosy and familiar in order to ease their nerves and stress and to help them settle.
If you would like some more advice on how to keep your dog calm in the car, or if you are bringing your dog to board at our kennels and are worried about how they will settle, please feel free to speak to us via our contact page and we will be more than happy to help an answer any questions that you may have.