Whether your dog is scared of car rides or gets overly excited about getting in a vehicle, start with slow, gradual training. Get him used to getting in and out of the car, the sounds of the doors, the engine and the horn.
Once he’s got that down, go for a ride around the block. Slowly increase your distance as he learns to hop right in and sit in his seat. By taking things slow, your dog will learn how to behave in the car, which helps keep you both safe.
2. Buckle Up
There are a lot of products on the market for dog car safety, but not all products are created equal. Do your research to ensure the product you choose fits your dog properly for his size.
Dog seat belts and car harnesses are two of the more popular options. They click right into the existing seat belt buckles in your car. These products can allow your dog some freedom to move around, but keep him secure in his seat.
Although plenty of other options are available, like harnessed dog boosters, mesh car barriers and dog hammocks, these don’t offer the security of a dog car safety harness or belt if you make a sudden stop or are in a collision. In fact, if some of these items aren’t properly secured, they could injure both you and your dog.
3. Be Prepared
Whether it’s a short ride or a long trip, make sure you’re prepared. Bring along your dog’s usual collar or harness, plus his leash.
Make sure you have plenty of food and fresh water, along with a food bowl and spill-proof water bowl. You’ll want to time his feedings so he’s not traveling on a full stomach, which can cause motion sickness.
Other items to consider based on trip length include: