You have your new pup and can’t wait to show them the world. We get it! But before going on any adventure, it’s important to think of your canine companion’s safety and security.
Depending on your puppy, being in transit can be stressful. Luckily, they’re still young, making it a little bit easier to help your four-legged pal get used to car rides.
Make the backseat safe and comfortable
Cars can be a strange place for dogs. It’s a smaller space than what they’re used to plus it moves, so it’s understandable why some pets panic.
You can make car rides a more pleasant experience by bringing along something familiar. This can be their favorite toy or blanket.
If your puppy is energetic, consider putting them in a crate for their own safety. Make sure to consult with your vet to ensure the size is appropriate for your pet. A harness is also a good option, but it may take some time for dogs to get used to.
Gradually introduce your puppy to car rides
Slowly exposing your small friend by taking slow and short rides. You can start with driving around the block so they can get used to being in a car. After some time, you can progressively make the trip longer until they’re used to being in transit. It will also help to praise and reward them for behaving after each ride.
When they do get used to long rides, make sure to have regular stops during the trip. The break will be a chance for both of you to hydrate, use the bathroom, and stretch your legs.
Be prepared for a mess
Part of teaching your puppy to get used to rides is anticipating the mess. They may get car sickness or be too scared and make an accident. Whatever the case, you need can prepare by:
Placing a layer of newspaper or cardboard
Whether they’re on the floor or in the backseat, putting a layer of newspaper or cardboard is a good idea. This protects your interior and makes cleanup easier.
Keeping cleaning materials in your car
Expect that it will take some time for your puppy to acclimate to car rides, so keep a dedicated kit in your vehicle.
Essentials include tissue and/or rugs, a spray bottle with cleaning solution, and a disposable garbage bag. If you have a sensitive nose, you can include a spray to neutralize foul odors.
Holding off feeding two to three hours before the trip
Prevention is better than the cure. One way to avoid accidents is by not traveling when your puppy has a full stomach.
Remember to be patient with the process. You can’t expect your puppy to acclimate overnight. It may take weeks or even months.