How to Make Car Travels More Comfortable for Your Dog

By Maria Rogerson

June 3, 2021Blog Pets

Having a pet can make travelling harder because they can be reluctant to get in your car. This is due to various reasons, the most common ones being anxiety and your dog not being used to the car. For their own safety and yours, you should do everything that’s in your power to help them overcome this fear. Some of the best solutions can be picking the right dog car accessories, keeping treats in the car, and creating a safe environment.

Keep Your Doggo in Place with the Suitable Car Travel Accessories

The first thing you can do is keep them restrained. I know it may sound too harsh but it’s necessary for the safety of all car passengers. This way, they won’t be able to run around the car or distract you while you’re driving. There are various kinds of reliable dog car travel accessories that can help make travelling with your dog more enjoyable.

Car Seatbelt

Yes, you have a seat belt in your car but having a special dog seat belt that keeps your dog in place can be of great help as well. It can also double as a leash so your dog won’t be able to run out of the car as soon as you disconnect the seat belt. The seatbelt can be adjusted in order to fit dogs of every size and can be attached to every type of collar. These goodies are designed to click into the belt buckle for most cars, but there’s no harm in checking before buying.

fluffy brown dog in a car seat belt

Dog Carriers

Dog carriers are the most common dog car travel accessories that can be found in every size. They can be hard or soft-sided, depending on your needs or your dog’s preference. They are portable and can serve to carry your dog outside the car as well. There are carriers for big dogs but they may not fit in your car, so it’s better to look for alternatives.

small dog in a dog carrier

For your dog to feel calm in the carrier during travels, he needs to be used to it. This means that you should train and let him adjust to the carrier before using it for long rides. Carriers come in various designs and colours, so you can easily find the one that matches your style or the car’s interior.

Car Seat Covers

If you don’t like keeping your dog in a carrier or if he is too big to fit in one, get dog car seat covers that will protect your car’s interior and keep your furry friend as comfortable as possible. They are useful for keeping dog hairs off the seat and floor. This way, you won’t have to vacuum and scrub your car after every car ride. They’ll also protect the seats from damage, like scratches and chews. Some dogs love scratching and when you’re driving, you won’t be able to watch your doggo’s every move.

fluffy brown dog sitting in a car on a car seat cover

Quality car seats can withstand damage and keep the seats in great condition for a long time. What’s more, dog seat covers won’t let odours and stains stay in the car. Dogs can be messy, and if they eat something or vomit in the car, stains can be hard to clean. The covers are washable and they’ll smell nice for every ride.

Practise Before Going on Longer Car Travels

To ease your dog’s anxiety, you need to practise before going travelling. This means that your dog should get used to the car. This is best done when the dog is still a puppy as they adjust faster. However, adult dogs don’t seem to have a problem with learning how to travel either. If you’re planning to use a carrier, try to associate it with positive behaviour and offer treats whenever the dog is inside. Leave it available at home as well so the dog can see it’s safe and learn to get inside it himself. Then, place the carrier inside the car and practise some more. Teach your doggy how to easily get in and out until it becomes a routine. Make small trips before going on a long one.

dog sitting in a back of a car

Take Bathroom Breaks and Keep the Temperature Cooler

Even if dogs learn how to sit in the car for a longer time, they still need breaks. They may get bored after some time and sitting still won’t be an option. Breaks will give them an opportunity to move their body before getting back in the car. Also, it’s a good idea to schedule bathroom breaks and keep to their routine as much as possible. Making stops will also help with car sickness. You can try playing or going for a long walk before travelling so your pup is tired and not in the mood for playing when in the car.

Make sure that the car is well ventilated and keep the temperature not too cold or too hot. Especially if the dog is in a crate, check on him frequently and point the vents towards him if possible. Regulate the temperature if you notice signs of discomfort in your pet.

Pay Attention to the Food and Water You Are Bringing

Travelling on an empty stomach is better because it prevents car sickness. If you don’t have to set off early in the morning, don’t feed the dog soon before travelling. Also, when it’s time for feeding, stop and take a break. Let your pup eat and then continue the journey. This could also help with nausea and vomiting.

dog eating in the back of the car

Dogs need proper nutrition so don’t try new foods and take their regular food when travelling. Don’t forget water and offer it at any rest stop because you don’t want your dog to get dehydrated. Make sure that you get your own water supply that you know it’s safe to drink so your dog doesn’t have any stomach issues. If your pup has had problems with nausea, you can ask your vet for dog car travel medication you can use to help with sickness.