Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Pauline G. Carter
Let’s face it, traveling in a car for long trips with a dog is never on the top of any owner’s list. Dogs tend to get extremely antsy and nervous when they are out of their routine, and a long trip can easily bring about both emotions. This inevitably leads to a range of unappealing and negative associated dog behaviors.
The good news is that you can take rather simple steps to drastically improve your experience of taking road trips with your dog. A happier, distracted, and the more relaxed and comfortable dog will equate to a much more enjoyable driving experience for yourself and any other people traveling with you.
Read on to learn more about four specific tips that will make your trip with your dog not just bearable, but enjoyable:
Invest in a high-quality dog ramp
As we mentioned before, dogs frequently exhibit extremely anxious behavior when it comes time to get them loaded into your car before a long road trip. It is therefore very critical that owners adequately prepare their dogs before the trip for the change that is coming, and set in place a few measures to make the process easier on their pets.
A high quality dog car ramp is a perfect first step to take to accomplish this. Rather than expecting your dog to jump dangerously into the vehicle or trying to lift your frantic dog into the car, you can set a routine in place of using the same dog ramp before every trip. This will help your dog recognize calmly when a car trip is coming, and it will allow you to safely and comfortably get your dog – regardless of his or her size – into the backseat.
Consider bringing a kennel or crate on your trip
Although we know that for some of the larger breeds, a kennel may not be a viable option for long trips, this is certainly an excellent option for owners with slightly smaller dogs. Research confirms that the best way to calm down and control your dog for long trips is by using a crate to enclose your dog in the backseat.
An added benefit of this tip is that you can work on getting your dog comfortable with the crate before you even introduce him or her to the car environment. Once your dog recognizes a space that he or she is familiar with, the road trip will automatically seem less intimidating or stressful.
Use treats for positive reinforcement
This may seem like an obvious road trip tip, but it is one of the most effective for ensuring your dog has an enjoyable trip experience. You should always ensure that you pack a bag of healthy treats for your dog whenever you head off on a trip together. You can use these treats (sparingly) throughout the first few trips whenever your dog exhibits positive behavior.
A good example of this is to reward your dog with a treat right after he or she climbs up the dog ramp successfully. Another would be rewarding your dog with a treat after he or she obeys the command to lay down in the crate in the backseat.
About Author (Pauline G. Carter)
Pauline G. Carter is a well-known pet blogger who has written about the world of pets for several years. She is passionate about pets, from cats and dogs to birds, reptiles, and poultry. Her blog, which is updated regularly, is filled with articles and guides on pet care, nutrition, and training. She also shares her experiences and observations on pet ownership, making her blog relatable and informative for pet lovers. She is a true animal advocate and is dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership. Let’s Go …