Provide the most comfortable experience for you and your dog on the road or in the air.
How can you make your dog more comfortable in the car while on the road?
By exposing your pet to traveling in a vehicle whenever possible, they will become adjusted and excited to join you on your adventures. The exception to this is when the dog's only car ride is associated with a negative experience such as a trip to the Vet or when the dog is placed in a vehicle without proper creature comforts. Remember your dog is traveling without the convenience of a comfortable seat. Often their response is to wedge themselves into a small space to keep from sliding around, especially on winding roads. Use caution with small pups or highly excitable dogs so that they do not interfere with the safe operation of the vehicle. Consider a kennel or crate if space allows.
Do dogs get car sick, and if so, how can you prevent or deal with it?
Some dogs do get motion sick but it seems rare. One dog breeder suggests feeding vanilla ice cream to an ailing dog. Ice cream will coat and soothe an upset stomach. Consult with your vet if motion sickness becomes an ongoing issue.
Is it okay to sedate a dog for long drives or flights? Are there other ways to calm my dog emotionally if he doesn't like the car?
Some humans feel the need to sedate their pets when traveling. You may wish to avoid sedating because of health concerns and want your traveling buddy to be able to run, jump and play if we make a stop to see roadside attractions. Always consult with your Vet before administering any medications to your dog. An alternative would be to expose your pet to traveling several times with a positive outcome. If you are driving get them used to the vehicle, if flying, familiarize the dog with the crate so that it is not a new experience come the day of your departure. Provide a space and place that is familiar to the dog and bring items that remind your dog of home. Toys, bedding or a favorite chew toy are a few examples of items that will console the dog and provide an outlet for nervous or excessive energy.
Is it safe to keep a dog in the back of an open truck?
Placing a dog in the back of an open truck is unsafe. However, if you choose to travel with your critter in the back of an open truck make certain that the dog is secured in a manner that will not allow the dog to fall out or hang himself should he try to investigate beyond the truck bed. Consider the exposure to weather. You may be inside the vehicle with the heater or air conditioner on but if your pup is outside he may be wet and experiencing wind-chill from traveling down the highway at 60 mph or baking in the heat of the sun. While on the road, bring along a pad or bed that can be moved from the car to camp to temporary accommodations so that the dog knows that this is their space to call home for awhile.
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