Traveling With Dogs In The Car: Tips From A Carmel Pet Hospital


As we approach Thanksgiving and the holidays ahead, many people are making their plans to travel away from the Indianapolis area to see loved ones.  If you plan on traveling with your dog, there are few things you should know.

1.  Planning ahead of time is crucial for pet travel.  Pets that are loose in the car pose a distraction risk to the driver, so make sure you have proper restraint for your pet.  Small dogs should be placed in a carrier.  Many carriers can be secured with the seat belt.  Although many of the doggie seat belts have not been shown to provide the same degree of safety for the dog as our seat belts do for us, they do make you less likely to have an accident in the first place.

2.  The stress of traveling can make many dogs anxious.  The best way to prevent this is to acclimate them to traveling when they are a puppy.  Puppies will get used to car rides by making frequent but very short trips that are associated with a pleasant experience such as a going for a walk in the park, visiting a friend’s house, or a drive to the local dog bakery. For older dogs, a great way to decrease the stress of a trip is to make them tired.   Wear your dog out through exercise with a run or really long walk before you go.  A dental bone or a Kong with frozen peanut butter can also be used to keep your dog occupied during travel.  This positive association can even change the way your pet feels about car travel.  Lavender oil can be used as well to help calm nervous dogs.  For extremely anxious pets, call your local Carmel pet hospital for a mild tranquilizer that can be given orally to help take the edge off.  (benadryl doesn’t usually work)

3.  Some dogs get carsick.  To help reduce motion sickness, avoid feeding your dog a big meal before the car ride.  Dogs never anticipate the brakes or turns, so having someone hold onto them or securing them with a seatbelt or carrier can help.  Remember that how you drive matters–slowing down for the turn and giving yourself more space to brake will decrease your chance of having to clean up vomit.  For dogs that are very sensitive to car sickness, ask your Carmel pet hospital about which oral medications would be best.

Whether you are driving just across town to Carmel, Westfield, Noblesville, Fishers, Indy, or all across the country, make sure you plan for your pet’s travel too.  For more information on our Caring Hands, Compassionate Hearts click on this the link Carmel pet hospital.

Comments are closed.