Taking Your Dog on a Long Journey
Transporting a pet from one place to another is not always as straightforward as it might seem.
If you’re thinking of going on a long trip, then you might not think it worth the bother of taking your dog with you – you might instead leave it at a kennels for the duration, or allowing a trusted friend, neighbour or family member to come over and feed them. But this presents problems – firstly, it might cost money, and secondly, your dog will be left alone for long periods of time, which might be a source of stress. For these reasons, many owners elect to take their pets with them on their travels.
If you’re planning on upping sticks and moving elsewhere, then the journey is unavoidable. Moving house can be a stressful process – there’s such a great deal to keep track of and worry about that the family pet often becomes an afterthought. It’s worth sparing just a little bit of thought for your dog’s comfort during the trip, however – a small amount of consideration, after all, can go a long way toward ensuring that your dog has as stress-free and painless an experience as possible.
Fortunately, there exist many devices which can help make the process just a little bit more straightforward. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Allowing your dog to move around in the back of your car is not a recipe for success. It provides a distraction for the driver, to begin with – after all, can anyone really concentrate on the road while simultaneously worrying about what’s going on in the back of the car? Even worse, in the event of an emergency stop – or, worse yet, a collision – your beloved pooch is at risk of being flung around like a ragdoll.
Fortunately, there exist tried and true methods of keeping your dog fixed in place for the duration of your trip. Among the most popular of these is the dog cage, which simply consists of a cage designed to be fixed within the boot of your car. This will limit your dog’s movement and thereby improve their safety and that of the rest of the car’s occupants. Just be sure to take a break every now and then during long trips to allow your dog to stretch its legs!
There exist a wide array of hormonal treatments designed to put a dog at ease. These can help a dog to deal with acutely stressful situations and to clamp down on problem behaviours like destructiveness and unwanted urination. Being bundled into the back of a car for hours on end certainly qualifies as a stressful situation, and so it might be worth applying such a drug just before you set out.
If your dog is of a particularly anxious disposition, then you might considering giving them a sedative just before the start of the trip. If this option seems an appealing one, then you should discuss it with your vet before proceeding further.
It’s vital that your dog gets an adequate supply of air – particular if it’s a sunny day. This means leaving a window open in the back. If you’re worried about the possibility of your dog making a break for freedom, then you can cover the window in question with a specially-designed cage cover. This will allow you to get air into the back of your car without risking disaster.
As well as considering the welfare of your dog, it’s worth also considering the welfare of your car. The boot of many a car has suffered when forced to accommodate a dirty, unruly or anxious dog. It’s only sensible to provide yours with a little protection if it’s going to be transporting one over a long distance.
Boot liners for dogs come in a few different shapes and sizes. A few can be bought at near rock-bottom prices, but these are usually cheap for a reason. They might be thin and flimsy to the point of uselessness, and so ill-fitting that they offer almost no protection against dirt and dust. If you should happen to have even a moderately expensive vehicle, then a tailored boot-liner is probably a worthwhile purchase. These are those which are made to fit different the boots of different models of car. Ford, BMW and Volkswagon boot liners are available, along with many others designed for a variety of different vehicles. Pick one that fits yours in order to achieve the best possible protection for your car boot.