Webvet

Webvet

Social Media Icons

Follow Us:

Main Content

Car Travel with Dogs

Twitter Stumbleupon Mixx it! Print Email icon
Pin It
If you enjoy this article,
Go here to sign up for the mailing list to receive more articles like this.
2320080915142746familywithdogincar

Traveling with your dog can be a rewarding experience if you prepare ahead of time and ensure your pet's comfort during the trip.

Make sure that your dog is used to being in a car before you take it on a long journey.  Begin by taking your pet for short trips and rewarding it with praise and a treat afterward.  Avoid feeding your pet just before short rides.

Car (motion) sickness can make travel difficult for both you and your pet.  Signs of motion sickness include restlessness, drooling, and vomiting.  Do not feed your dog for five to six hours before long trips.  If necessary, your veterinarian can prescribe medication to relieve your pet's discomfort.

Dogs should ride inside the car rather than inside a camper or in the bed of a pickup truck.  Restrict your dog's movement so that it cannot interfere with the driver.  Special harnesses and car seats are widely available.  Do not let your dog stick its head out the window, which can lead to eye injuries.

Stop for regular breaks every few hours to give your dog a chance to exercise, relieve itself, and have a drink of water.  Secure your pet with a leash before opening the vehicle door, and pay attention to pet restrictions at rest stops.

Never leave any animal in a parked vehicle in warm weather, no matter how briefly.  The inside temperature can skyrocket to a dangerous level in a few short minutes, even with the windows cracked open.  This can lead to heat stroke, brain damage, and death very quickly.

Many lodging facilities accommodate pets, but be sure to check pet policies and make arrangements well in advance of your travel date.  To book a pet-friendly hotel now, click here.

 

Q&A

How do I prepare my pet for car travel?

Begin by taking your pet for short trips and rewarding it with praise and a treat afterward.  Make sure that your dog is used to being in a car before you take it on a long journey. 


Can dogs get car sick?

Yes.  Signs of motion sickness include restlessness, drooling, and vomiting.  To decrease car sickness, avoid feeding your pet just before short trips and for 5-6 hours before longer trips.  If necessary, your veterinarian can prescribe medication to relieve your pet’s discomfort.


Is it okay for my dog ride in the bed of my pickup?

No.  Dogs should ride inside the car (or cab) rather than inside a camper or in the bed of a pickup truck.  Dogs can jump or be thrown from an open bed, leading to serious injury or death.


Can I leave my pet in the car if I crack a window?

Never leave any animal in a parked vehicle in warm weather, no matter how briefly.  The inside temperature can skyrocket to a life-threatening level in a few short minutes, even with the windows cracked open. 

Credit: Written and reviewed by John A. Bukowski, DVM, MPH, PhDand Susan E. Aiello, DVM, ELS
Did you like this article?
Go here to sign up for the mailing list to receive more articles like this.

Related content

All medical-related content on WebVet has been veterinarian approved to ensure its timeliness and accuracy.
Introducing Pet-Pods...

Veterinarian with small dog FREE downloadable PDF files providing a comprehensive review of some of the most timely pet health topics: Allergies, Fleas, Summer Safety Hazards, and Vomiting and Diarrhea.

Newsletter Signup

  
Get FREE Pet Insurance Quotes Now!

Search For A Vet

Crosby