Drive Him Like a Star & Stress Free

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Alka Paul
Our furry friends love to go for long drives. And the ride becomes all the more enjoyable when we have our favourite travel companions with us! However, you need to get your pet used to car travel before you take him for those lengthy trips. –by Alka Paul

The best way is to start with shorter rides when travelling by car with your pet and gradually increase the duration.This will help you recognise how soon your pet gets car sick and how often he wants to relieve himself.

In order to make their drive comfortable, there are several safety tips you need to keep in mind, for a joyful journey! While some pets are calm during a car ride, others feel restless and are full of energy. As a pet parent you would know your pet’s behaviour and reactions to car rides.

Take it slow and restrain your pet
You need to figure out how to restrain your pet in the car. It is dangerous to let him roam around freely in a moving vehicle. You can either put him in a pet crate if your pet is too bouncy and a bag of energy or attach a safety belt on the back seat.

For a lot of pets sitting in their pet parent’s lap and enjoying the ride is a fun experience. So let him do that. Older dogs are usually easier going and would take a nap on the back seat, making your driving easy. For safety purpose, we recommend you do not bring your pet to the front seat. If he can stay on the back seat on his own, then that’s great, or else you can ask a family member to share the seat. Even if you are putting your pet in a crate for some time, make sure it is kept safely at the back seat with enough ventilation.

Seatbelts for dogs can be used as you need to attach your pet to a harness, and this will clip into the buckle of a car seatbelt on one end and have a lead clip on the other end. The harness will keep your pet secured.

It might take a few rides for your pet to get used to the car travel, so be patient. If you take your pet once a month for a vet visit, then there are chances that he associates car with vet and pain. To change that, take your pet for small car rides around your locality. It’ll be a nice bonding activity and your pet will slowly get used to all the ride shenanigans.

Superpower of sniffing
If you are using a crate, introduce your pet by letting him sniff the crate before he gets into the car. Keep him secure in the crate, once it is placed in the car. Keep showing positive attitude by luring him with treats to go inside the cage. Do not force him to get in. And it is also important to not keep him in the crate for extended period of time.

Lots of activity and exercise for a smooth rise
Get your pet tired by giving him enough exercise, before you put him in the car. A tired dog may relax better than a fully rested dog and he’ll sleep through comfortably on the back seat.

Light and yummy – good for the tummy
Avoid feeding your pet just before the trip. You need to feed him at least two hours before, as this will refrain him from getting car sick and relieving himself. Remember to keep treats handy.

Pack light or rather pack right!
Pack up the right items required for your pet when venturing out on a long journey. Carry fresh water, feeding bowls, treats, dog collar or harness with leash, some chew toys, tissues, newspapers, napkins and plastic bags. Also don’t forget to carry basic medicines and any particular medication that your pet takes regularly.

Trust your vet for the best advice
Always consult your vet before your travel and talk to him/her about any motion sickness signs that your pet has shown in the past journeys. Your vet may prescribe some medication or a spray to administer before the trip.

Collar safety is a good idea
Keep your pet’s harness or collar on at all times. There’s a chance that he may get out of the car and run away. Attach his name tag to the collar, as he can be identified if he escapes.

Small breaks to recharge
Taking short breaks for ten minutes after every half an hour is highly recommended for your pet. You should feed him a small snack with a little water during every break. Take him for a quick walk to stretch his legs and relieve himself. Make sure he’s on the leash when he gets off the car.

Don’t leave your pet unattended
Never leave your pet alone in the car. He can get a heatstroke or become unconscious in a parked car. If you stop by at a restaurant for a take away, park your car in the shade and bring down the windows half way for some cool fresh air. You should not take more than five minutes to return to your car to attend to your dog.

Keep calm and carry on
Stay calm while your pet is in distress. If you become anxious, he will know that something bad is happening and he will also get tensed. Be as normal as you can in an emergency situation and explain to your pet in a calm and composed manner.

Love is the best reward
The moment you reach your destination, take your pet for a long walk. Reward him with a treat along with lots of love and hugs for making through this long journey with you.

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