Tips for Driving with Dogs

Tips for Driving with Dogs

Posted Mar 14, 2019 in Health & Safety

A lot of people here in Hawaii enjoy having their pup in the vehicle, especially in the back of their trucks. To ensure Pono’s safety, we’ve gathered some tips to make driving secure and comfortable, giving you piece of mind when you’re on the road.

Train your Dog Early

As it is with most learned behaviors, the best way to successfully shape them is to start directing them at a young age. Introducing frequent car rides early and the right way will set an example of what your dog will be most likely to follow in the future. During your pup’s first car rides you’ll want another passenger present. They’ll be able to reassure them if they get anxious or re-adjust them into a safe, correct position if they somehow get loose. The first few weeks try taking your dog to a low traffic beach park or other slow-paced playing fields. Show them that car rides are a positive thing that leads to fun adventures that they’ll want to travel with you regularly.

Dogs with heads out the window

While big ears flapping in the wind make us all smile, it can come with a high price. Bees stings in the eyes and mouth are far more common than we would all care to know about. Passing too closely to oncoming traffic with the dog stretching out and barking, nope, not a good scenario. Just like our kids playing chicken keeping the arms out the window reaching for the oncoming traffic, yup it’s happened to dogs ending in the worst way. Bottom line, we are our dog’s lifeguard, so it’s on us to eliminate their ability to injure themselves or worse.

Come Prepared

Many dogs can find car rides extremely uncomfortable. Be sure to have doggy bags, treats, water, and even some toys to help with any issues that may arise and allow them to feel more secure. If you plan on using a crate during your drives, prepare your pup ahead of time at home for what that’ll be like.

Have Other Solutions

If you seem to have a pup who just despises car rides, there could be an underlining reason why. Some dogs can get motion sickness that will associate negative feelings towards driving. If this is the case you can make sure to the stomach and bladder are empty. And if it persists there are some natural remedies and of course, talk to your vet about anti-nausea medications. If Pono just can’t seem to shake their nerves try just sitting in the car with them when it’s not moving. Also, try leaving the engine running with low-level music playing. Give them calm affection and reward them with very small but tasty treats to promote being in the car as a positive experience.

When Driving in a Pickup Truck

Allowing your dog to ride in the cab of your truck is the safest option. But if this is not a possibility, there are a few safety precautions you should follow when driving with your pup in the bed of your truck. One option is securing a travel crate to the bed. You’ll do this by tying it down and ensuring it’s properly secured to an anchor. Another option is to use a restraint system. That would include a strap going across the width of the pickup’s bed connected to a particular harness used to keep your pup in the center of the truck’s bed. If your dog can place its paws on the walls of the bed, it can also end up attempting to jump out and accidentally hang itself.

When it comes to driving with your dog, you want them to be safe and feel comfortable. Sometimes safety can take a bit more prep time. But it’ll be worth it in the long run when Pono is happy and healthy for years to come. It’s important to know that Hawaii law now requires the dog to be restrained when riding in a vehicle. Yup, that’s right – click it or ticket, applies to dogs as well.

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