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Driving With Fido

October 1, 2022
Does your canine companion love going for car rides? It’s always cute watching Fido get excited at the sound of car keys. While many pups love to be out and about with their humans, it’s important to remember that car rides can be very dangerous for them. A Tumwater, WA vet discusses traveling with Fido below.

Supervision

Rule number one: never leave Fido unattended in a vehicle. In summer, temperatures can get dangerously hot in just minutes. In winter, your canine buddy could quickly get cold. Leaving the engine on isn’t a good compromise: dogs can accidentally knock the gearshift or window control.

Desensitization

If you have a puppy, or a pooch that maybe hasn’t been in cars much, you’ll need to get Fido used to the idea. Start with short excursions. At first, you can just sit in the driveway with the motor running. Offer toys and praise. (Treats are also good, assuming your dog doesn’t get carsick.) Once your pooch has gotten used to this, you can start taking him on longer rides.

Workout First

Dogs are always calmer after they’ve burned off their zoomies. Before taking Fido on a drive, tire him out with a walk and play session.

Windows

We know, it’s cute seeing dogs riding with their heads out car windows. However, this is quite dangerous. Fido could get dust, dirt, pebbles, bugs, or even cigarette butts in his eyes or face. He could also get thrown or injured in an accident, or even after a bump or sudden stop. Keep windows closed or just cracked.

Containment

We always recommend that dogs travel in crates. It’s just so much safer! The important thing is to train Fido properly. He should see his crate as a comfy den, not a jail cell. Be sure to include comfy bedding, and a few fun toys, to make the crate comfy. If you don’t want to use a crate, you can look into other security options, such as backseat barriers and seat belts. Just do plenty of research: some of these products are not as safe as they may sound.

Breaks

Headed off on a long trip? Let Fido stretch his legs and relieve himself regularly. Exploring new places can be a great way to let your furry friend enjoy his vacation, too. As your Tumwater, WA animal clinic, we’re here to help. Contact us anytime!
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