Most dogs love going for a ride in the car, especially our German Shepherds! With the wind whipping through their fur and the wide open road full of new things to see, dogs typically love to travel! The thought of hopping in the car and going for a drive or going on a vacation can make both you and your dog get excited. Let’s keep in mind that happy travels equals safe travels – here are a few things to remember when traveling with your dog!
Our top tips to help travelling with your dog:
Plan ahead, start with small trips and build up to longer journeys in your car. Depending on the length of your trip most dogs do well by starting with short trips and gradually building up to longer journeys. Introducing a puppy by spending time in your car, even for just a few minutes without going anywhere can help acclimatise them to the vehicle. For the nervous dog you could start without the engine running and once they are happy turn the engine on.
If you know you have a long trip coming up soon, such as a trip traveling across several States with your dog, make sure you build up to that slowly by taking longer and longer drives. That way, when it comes time to take the trip, your dog shouldn’t have too much of an issue with it.
Dogs need comfort breaks too !
Remember, to take some comfort breaks and let everyone stretch the legs – even your four legged friend.
We always keep a some dog poo bags handy. You know you’ll always need one when you don’t have any in your pocket!
This Earth Rated dispenser is easily fixed to your car so you don’t loose it. I has a screw on cap you can easily refill it.
You may wish to have a wire, mesh, or hard crate/carrier when you travel with your dog – or at the least a dog harness. In fact it is law in some States that your dog is required to wear a car harness. Check with for your own State but we’re aware that it’s compulsory in Arizona, Hawaii, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and New Hampshire to name a few.
If you allow your pet to walk around freely in the car, not only do they pose being a risk of distraction for you and a potential driving hazard, but if you were to get into an accident, not only would they not be well protected, but they will become like any other object in your car – and you run the risk of your dog hitting you, your passengers or even the windshield if they are not properly restrained.
If your dog is crate trained make sure your dog has plenty of time to stretch out and stand up so that it isn’t restrictive or uncomfortable on longer journeys.
Be sure not to allow your German Shepherd to ride with his or her head outside of the window while you are driving.
Sure, it is tempting, and your dog will love it, but at the same time, a fly in the eye or a foreign object flying up and hitting your pet – such as rocks and stones, or that cigarette carelessly tossed out by the car in front of you, can hurt your four legged friend and might mean a detour to the nearest vet.
Pack extra water and food for your dog when your drive – plenty more than you think you will need for the trip. Especially water – we all know what messy drinkers they are – doesn’t the water go everywhere!!! This way, in case there are delays or your vehicle breaks down, your dog will be properly fed and hydrated at all times. Also make sure to include a leash, any medication, grooming items, and a waste scoop with waste bags in your dog’s travel kit. This will ensure you have everything you need to make sure your dog is safe, comfortable, and healthy!
We always remember to have our portable water bowl with us:
This one from Portable Pet holds up to 3 quarts of water and makes traveling with your dog very convenient for keeping them well hydrated
It’s engineered not to splash or spil and stands upright for storage and lays flat when your dog is drinking.
! Remember to never leave your dog alone in a hot car !
It doesn’t matter if it is even for a moment while you run into a store to grab some snacks – the temperature in a car can rise to dangerous levels within minutes, so if it is summer and you need to stop somewhere, either take your dog with you, or have someone stay behind with the air conditioning running to make sure your dog stays safe.
Consider having a dedicated dog first aid kit in your car
The AKC Pet First Aid Kit comes in a compact carry;
- 46 individual pieces
- For dog emergencies but also handy for a home pet first aid kit
- Comes with room to add you personalised first aid items
- All in a heavy duty zippered case
- Great for travel, camping and all your escapades!
Keeping your pet safe while traveling is just as important as keeping yourself safe! If you think something might be dangerous, follow your instincts, and remember to keep your precious German Shepherd safe so that you can have many more tail-wagging travels together!
Wishing you and your furry friends