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Five tips for taking your dog on your spring road trip

Five tips for taking your dog on your spring road trip

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If you read ‘10 Canadian springtime road trips you must try’ you already have ideas of where to go on your road trip this year, but will you take the dog? My dog likes travelling in the car but only if he can have his head out the window. When I had a convertible, he was in his element. Him, me and a pair of doggles and we were away.

If you are planning a road trip with your dog this spring, here are five things to remember than will make life easier for all of you.

Keep the dog in back
Unless you only have two seats, the dog should live in the back. An excited dog can be distracting, get in the way of your driving and can be unsafe to have up front. Keeping the dog in back gives them more space and less room to cause trouble no matter how excited they get.

Use a dog seatbelt
It doesn’t matter whether your dog is large or small, they become a projectile when you slam on the brakes. Use a specific dog seatbelt or harness to keep them as safe as your human passengers. They may not like it and they may prefer having freedom but you know it will keep them and you, safe.

Fulfil their needs
Dogs have smaller bladders than humans so unless you’re traveling with small children, you should remember to stop every couple of hours for a bathroom break. It will give your dog a chance to walk around a bit, have a sniff, go to the toilet, have a drink of water and relax a little before the next leg. Factor extra time into your schedule for regular stops.

Don’t feed your dog during the trip
Dogs can go many days without food before they become lethargic so keeping them hungry for a few hours during your road trip really is not an issue. If your dog is prone to travel sickness or becomes distressed in the car, stop feeding them between two and three hours before the journey and don’t feed them during the journey. Use small treats to encourage good behaviour if you need to, but keep food to the minimum.

An empty stomach allows them to travel easier even if they don’t mind the car. This will make your spring road trip more enjoyable for everyone.

Don’t leave your dog in the car
When the sun shines it can become hot even up north. Don’t leave your dog in the car when the sun is shining, even with a window cracked open. Temperatures can quickly rise, your dog can become dehydrated and become very ill. It will be okay if you’re stopping for gas or to get a coffee, but don’t leave them very long for both your sakes!

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