Whether it's a short errand or you're traveling with your dog in a car long distance, it's nice to have your dog with you. Many dogs enjoy a car ride, but there are some things to consider to make sure it is a safe and enjoyable ride for everyone. Knowing when your pup needs a break and when you should leave him at home and travel solo is good for both of you.
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Long car rides with dogs
When taking a quick trip that is less than an hour, you don't need to worry about taking breaks. However, when planning how to drive long distance with a dog, it is important to consider how long your dog can ride in a car. When you go on a road trip, it is likely that you will need to stop for gas, snacks, and bathroom breaks. Your dog will also need these breaks as well, not just for the bathroom and water but also to break up the tedium of a long ride.
So, how long can a dog stay in the car? It really depends on your dog. In general, adult, potty-trained dogs can ride for three to four hours before needing a break. However, younger puppies and elderly dogs may need a break every hour since they have less control over their bladder.
When you stop, make sure you are in a safe location away from traffic and that you keep your dog on a leash. In addition to allowing your dog time to stretch his legs and take a bathroom break, make sure he has a chance to drink water.
Do dogs like car rides?
In general, dogs love to jump in the car and take a trip with you whether you are going to the park or heading to visit a friend. However, some dogs find car trips very stressful. This could be due to a bad experience or because they get motion sickness.
While there are steps you can take to help your dog love riding in the car, keep in mind that anxious dogs may not be able to stay in the car as long. Practice getting in and out of the car, making sure to offer plenty of positive reinforcement. Then, start with very short trips, gradually increasing the travel time in the car as your dog adapts.
Safety tips and considerations
As much fun as it is to bring your pup on your day-to-day errands, if you need to go into stores where she isn't welcome, it is best to leave her home. How long can you leave a dog in a car? It is best to never leave your dog in the car on a hot day even if you crack the windows. On a warm, 85-degree day, the inside of your car can reach 102 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes and can soar to 120 degrees in half an hour.
Dogs can quickly overheat, and dogs with short muzzles, overweight dogs, and elderly dogs are at higher risk. Symptoms of overheating include drooling, high heart rate, difficulty breathing, and weakness. In more severe cases, you may see seizures, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fever of 104 degrees or more, and collapse.
Regardless of the length of your trip or the outdoor temperature, make sure you have water for your dog. Also, make sure that your dog is secure in the car to keep her safe in case of an accident. This may mean keeping her in a crate or securing her harness to a seat belt.