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Safe Summertime Car Travel with Your Dog

We've all seen cars whizzing by on the highway with dogs hanging their heads out of windows, with paws resting there as well, or dogs frantically jumping between the front and back seat. Pup owners casually smile as their dogs have free rein throughout their vehicle, and passersby are left scratching their heads. I don't currently own a dog, but I have owned and loved a furry family member in the past, and I know all too well the dangers of letting your dog roam free in the car while you're driving.

It may seem like a cute and fun idea to let your dog run and jump around in the car while you drive, but the truth is, it's incredibly dangerous, both to the dog and driver.

In an effort to keep yourself and your dog safe when traveling together during the summertime, here are a few great tips to keep in mind:

The best way to get your pup acclimated to car travel, no matter what time of year it is, is to take them in the car often. Once you feel your dog is old enough to handle frequent trips in the car, bring them along for the ride. As long as you're just going for short rides and don't plan on being anywhere that your dogs can't be alongside you, this is the perfect way to help your dog feel safe and get used to car travel.

Remember back to your childhood- did you love being in the car? Some kids travel well and others do not, and the same can be said for dogs. Younger dogs or puppies will need extra love, attention, and will absolutely need your patience on their side when traveling in your car. Puppies might be scared for the first several times they ride in the car, so do everything possible to help them feel safe and comfortable. Older dogs will likely be a bit more calm and better behaved.

Just as parents drive with extra caution when they're driving with their children in the car, you'll want to exercise that same caution when you're driving with dogs in the car. While people have no problem handling quick movements such as curves or turns that the vehicle makes, this will be the most problematic issue for your dog when traveling in your car. Securing your pet with a car travel harness is a wonderful way to keep them safe in the car, and keep them from sliding all over the back seat, which will in turn prevent them from getting hurt.

Take frequent breaks during travel with your dog.
Making frequent stops may not help you get the best gas mileage for your journey, and will definitely add time to your trip, but they reality is, your dog needs to be able to take a break from riding in the car. Don't plan on driving for more than a couple of hours at a time without stopping to give your dog a break to drink some fresh water and use the bathroom. It's a good idea to have your travel route mapped out, and plan your stops ahead of time so that you know the best and safest pet-friendly places to stop with your dog.

Traveling with your dog can be a wonderful experience, so long as you do your best to keep them safe at all times.

Brought to you by Lustine Toyota.

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