Take your dog by car

dog car

If you plan to take your pet by car with you on vacation or just for a little drive, whether it is a short or a long trip, you need to take care of the safety and well-being of your dog. Here are a few things to think about.

Stressed or unaccustomed dog

You cannot expect your buddy to be totally comfortable the first time he goes into your car. The smaller he starts, the less difficult it will be. The best is to gradually accustom him, starting with taking him into the car, even if you don’t drive. Then, you can go on short trips. Once it is comfortable, you can go further and further. Don’t hesitate to congratulate him everytime you take the car with him, inducements are important.
If he is anxious, you can give him an anti-stress, there are drug therapies, like Zentonil, Adaptil Spray, Zylkene, Axience Petscool, etc. You can also use natural treatments, like aromatherapy, Bach flowers, herbal medicines or even massage. Whatever the method used, you have to inquire with your vet.

Don’t forget to take breaks every two hours so that he can go out, don’t leave him alone in the car and avoid to put him in the trunk if he is nervous. He’d risk feeling even more cramped In the dark and away from you.

Safety

Safety is paramount. If in France the law does not clearly require tying animals when you are driving, the driver and all passengers must be belted (Article R142 – 1) without distinction of species. Moreover, the driver must be able to control his vehicle; his field of view and movement’s freedom musn’t be hindered by an object or a passenger (Article R412 – 6).
In order to avoid fines in case of accident or police control, it is better for your dog to be unable to walk freely in the passenger compartment.

You have solutions: the seat belt for animals, it allows you to attach the dog to the seat but won’t retain him in case of collision or accident. The harness, however, will hold him better with a carabiner but it can also unhook. You can also take a transport crate. Be careful, nevertheless, to place it between the front and rear seats if it is small one and in the trunk if it is a large one. If you attache it on the back seat, it can break and eject your dog in case of sudden braking. If you have several dogs, you can also invest in a grid of separation to leave the doggies in the trunk and separating them well from the rest of the car.

Finally, don’t leave your dog in the car in the sun and when it’s hot, stop regularly and avoid letting your dog pass his head through the window when you are driving, it may cause ear’s infection.

Whether he’s used to or not, whether it’s a short or a long journey, your dog can leave by car with you and enjoy the stay in the mountains or the sea, like the rest of the family.