Travelling with your dog can be challenging if we are not prepared with the correct equipment and especially if our pet dog did not have any training regarding these scenarios. They can move around and cause problems for you as you try to keep your eyes on the road. So, here is a guide so that you can have less worries and have more fun on the road with your furry little friend.
1. Choosing the appropriate equipment
Depending on your dog’s size, you may need to purchase a carrier or a harness. If you have a small dog, a carrier is the right option for your pet. You have to measure your dog’s length and height and compare that to the carrier – it should be proportionate with a little wiggle room. Make sure that the brand you are choosing is a certified brand that has quality products for your pup’s safety.
If you have a large dog, you need to opt for a dog harness that will keep them in place on their seats. Same as above, just find the right fit for your dog. A snug fit will make them comfortable and lessen the travel anxiety.
2. Hello there, harness
Since the carrier or the harness will be something new for your pup. You will have to let them be familiar with the gear. Several days before hitting the road, place the gear in their usual lounging space to allow them to get acquainted. Provide treats after they have investigated the device.
3. Familiarization with the sounds the equipment makes
Since dogs are easily startled with loud or sudden noise – the zippers, buckles and locks can prove to be a threat for them. This will not help with your efforts to make them understand that the carrier or the harness is a safe place.
Once they are up close to the gear, try to use the zippers, buckles or locks so that they will make noise in front of your pup. If they get scared, try to coax them in and make them feel it is safe. Once you have made the device make a sound again and they are fine with it, reward your dog with some treats.
4. Make the device customary
If your dog will be using a carrier, place some of your pet’s favorite toys inside the carrier to lure them in and allow them to play in, out and around the carrier. It is imperative to take note that the carrier should never be used as a mini-prison as punishment – as this will go against your efforts in getting them to like the equipment.
If your dog will be using the harness, get them to wear the harness for non-travelling activities from time to time and give them a reward every time they will allow you to put on the harness. This will get them to feel accustomed to the new device.
5. Help them with claustrophobia
Ease them in by gradually setting up the carrier or harness inside the car while not travelling, just for a few minutes. Be with them and encourage them that they are a good boy or girl and provide treats as reward.
If these tips do not work and you are in dire need to get them to travel, you might want to consult your vet with alternatives such as pheromones.