If you plan to take a trip in your car with your dog, it is important that you keep some things in mind. Not only can it be hard on a dog when they are kept in a confined space for long stretches of time, but the boredom and lack of comfort can become an issue for some dogs. Here are some ways to relax your dog and improve their happiness during the trip.
Visit the Vet First
You first need to make sure your dog is healthy enough to handle the trip. If your dog is exhibiting any signs of being ill, have your vet look them over and perform a regular exam. A dog with a high temperature or other health issues might have a difficult time on a long road trip. Visiting a veterinarian clinic in your area also allows you to ask them for recommendations. For example, they might know some ways to soothe your dog during the trip, or be able to give you some sedatives for moments when your dog can't handle the trip. While you should not keep your dog medicated the entire time, there may be some times where the dog seems extra anxious and it comes in handy.
Bring the Dog's Favorite Items
A good way to keep a dog calm and relaxed during a long car trip is by bringing along some of its favorite items. Perhaps they have a blanket they always lay with in their crate at home, or they have a few favorite toys. These items are good to bring along not only for entertainment when the dog gets bored, but to make them feel more comfortable. As you begin packing items for the dog, don't forget its food and water bowls, some bottled water, and dry food kept in storage bags. Also bring along a bottle of lavender essential oil, as rubbing it on your hands and massaging the dog with the oil can be relaxing.
Put the Dog in a Crate
A crate is a great way to keep your dog in one place in the car while you are driving. It not only makes it safer for you to drive without the dog in your way, but it keeps the dog protected as well. If you need to slam on your brakes, the dog is protected inside the crate. You can choose whether you will close the crate so your dog can't get out, or if you will leave it open and only have the crate for comfort purposes.