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driving with dogs

Car Culture

10 Tips For Driving With Dogs

August 5, 2014
Most dogs get excited at even the slightest mention of going on a walk. And they get even more excited about driving in the car! But with cell phones, drive-thru fast food and all the other many distractions drivers face on the road, an excited dog can add potential hazards to your trip. Still, if you take the right precautions, both you and your dog can have a perfectly happy trip. I’ve put together a checklist of things to do when taking your dog on the road with you: 1. Lay a blanket in the back: Ideally, you should keep your dog in the back space of the car behind the last row of seats. Laying a blanket in the back will keep the floor of the car free from dog hair, poop or any other messes the dog might make. 2. Don’t feed your dog right before: Just like people, dogs can get car sick! So make sure you feed the dog well in advance, and don’t let them overeat. You certainly don’t want to be cleaning up that kind of mess in your car!
3. Don’t let your dog roam the car: It’s important to keep your dog from freely roaming the car. You don’t want your dog to be jumping and sliding around if you need to abruptly stop. You can even invest in a car leash to keep the dog confined to one area of the car. 4. Bring toys for entertainment: Especially on long trips, your dog may get bored in the car. Bring some of his or her favorite toys to keep occupied while on the journey. 5. Don’t leave your dog in the car on a hot day: It probably goes without saying, but you should never leave your dog in the car while you run errands on a hot day. Dogs can’t regulate their body temperature with sweat the way people can, and the situation could be deadly on a hot day. To be safe, don’t leave your dog in the car no matter what the weather is like. 6. Exercise your dog before a long trip: Just like small children (and even adults!), your dog will need to get the wiggles out before heading on a long trip. Take your dog for a long walk or run to tire him out a bit before hitting the road. 7. Cover your car seats: If for some reason you aren’t able to confine your dog to a certain area of the car, be sure to have seat covers to protect your interior from all of the messes dogs can make.
8. Bring paper towels: You never know what kind of mess your dog could leave in your car, so be prepared for the worst! You might have a sick dog, even if you don’t feed them close to the time of leaving. 9. Don’t let your dog sit on your lap: This is probably the most difficult tip of all. I know how fun it can be to have a cute little dog sitting on your lap! But for the safety of you and your dog, don’t let your dog sit on your lap while driving. 10. Don’t let your dog hang its head out of the window: Here’s another tough rule! Dogs sure do seem to get a lot of joy out of hanging their head out the window and letting their ears flap in the wind! 🙂 But you never know when you could be in danger of a car accident or even an abrupt stop. So, for the safety of your dog…don’t let them hang their head out the window.