Giant dog sits in a SUV waiting for a command.

Tips and Tricks for Traveling with a Dog

Travel pet bowls are a a necessity for your pet's comfort.

Traveling With Pets 

Puppy in the car for the first time

Take your puppy on short trips as soon as possible, and he will learn to love it. If your young dog has never ridden in the car, it’s not too late. Take him or her for rides with family members or friends. Ask them to offer treats and pet the dog ensuring that he has a good experience.

Dog Travel Gear

If your dog uses a crate, put it in the car and place familiar toys in it. His favorite toys offer more security in a strange environment than new ones.

Take a water bottle and treats.You may need to put some treats in the crate or car to encourage the dog to jump in.

Buy a blanket with Velcro edges to protect your car and ease the dog. This blanket protects the sides and bottom of an SUV. You can purchase seat covers too.

Use Common Sense and Don’t Leave Pets in Hot Cars 

Walk and water the dog before entering the car.

Blast the air conditioner ten minutes or so before you and your pet get in. If you have air-conditioning in the second and third rows, turn that on too.

If you are traveling alone, opt for drive-through restaurants. If you need a restroom, park in the shade, open the windows enough for air and safety. Don’t dawdle.

Never leave your dog in a hot car, even if it’s 70 degrees and you cracked the windows. Researchers at Stanford University School of  Medicine had discovered that a car’s temperature can rise 40 degrees quickly and become lethal.

Dog Obedience

For safety reasons teach basic commands like down, sit, stay, and come. If the dog stands while you are driving, he should respond to “down.” The dog should know “stay,” because when you open the car door or lift the hatch, the dog shouldn’t jump out until you hook the leash on his collar and he hears a command, like “ok.” If he jumps out before you attach the leash, and he doesn’t respond to “come,” offer him treats to get his attention. Learning these commands could save your dog’s life.

Warning: Dangerous Prong Collars, Slip Collars or Choke Collars

I never put my dog in the car or leave him alone wearing a prong collar or a choke collar, also called a slip collar. I only use them to control him during walks.

As a puppy, his slip-collar Loop became lodged between two deck boards. I heard whimpering and saw him jerk his head up and down trying to escape as the metal choke collar tightened, strangling him like a noose. I pried the collar over his head while my husband raced for the wire cutters. Consequently, I will never leave him unattended wearing one of those collars. He wears a buckle collar at home and in the car. When driving with him, I keep the prong collar in the front seat.

I hope these tips help ensure a happy and safe trip with your pet.

Harlequin Great Dane Puppy and Dalmatian

Pet Control

My father had often said, “Those dogs aren’t running my life,” but my sisters and I still laugh, because unbeknownst to him, he and the Great Dane and Dalmatian were part of a chess match. The dogs were the chess masters, and he was their pawn.

 

My parents usually took the dogs with them when they went to the beach. One day,  when my parents were packing their car to leave the beach for my father to go to work; our Dalmatian and Great Dane had slipped out the door and took off. My parents walked and drove the neighborhood for hours, and they finally called the police. It was a sad day when the policeman gave my father the bad news: The dogs had become criminals and they were locked up behind bars.

 

I would have loved to have heard the conversation between my parents when my father had to drive to the police station that was several miles away and bail them out. Luckily, he was an attorney and visiting clients in jail was nothing new to him. He said that when he saw the jailed dogs, “They looked guilty.”  After loading them in the car, my parents headed home. Unfortunately, they were stuck in rush-hour traffic, and my father missed work. The dogs were affecting his job.
Though my father often complained about our pets, I believe that he liked them though they intimidated him. At Christmastime, he saved empty cardboard rolls from the Christmas paper and stacked them in the corner in the family room. Though he would never hurt anyone or anything, when he thought that the dogs were misbehaving, he would grab a cardboard roll and say, “See this!” and the dogs ignored him as usual and continued what they were doing. I guess holding something in his hand taller than the Great Dane made him feel powerful.
We needed a new car, and my father thought that he was buying the family a station wagon. We, us kids, knew that he was buying the dogs a car, though we hadn’t pointed that out to him. The dogs needed room to spread out for long car rides, therefore their requirements dictated what my father drove.
Though my father pretended that he didn’t like our dogs, when the Dalmatian was diagnosed with a terminal illness, my parents drove her to a veterinarian school hours away as a last ditch effort to save her life. Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful, but I give my parents credit for making that trip.
Ironically, years later after my mother had passed, and the dogs were gone, my father called me and said, “Dorothyadele, a vagrant has entered my office and said that he is leaving town. He has a golden retriever, Ralph, with him, and he plans to have him euthanized. Should I take him?”

 

“Absolutely!” I said.

 

 

The cycle continued. We never knew the dog’s age, but he was a good companion for my father for about five years until Ralph became ill. I knew that my father liked dogs.

 

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https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/dog-bite-report/

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/puppy-training-101-blame-the-husband/

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https://www.creativedogtraining.com/blog/what-is-the-best-age-to-start-training-my-dog

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