Car Riding Safety Tips for Pets

  • January 03, 2014
  • By Dr Mark Perissinotto
  • 1 Comments

Most dogs love going car riding with their owners. Whether you are traveling for necessity such as going to the vet or for pleasure, there are some things you need to remember before you hit the road.

Anxiety

It is sometimes due more to anxiety than motion sickness that cats and dogs suffer from stomach upsets while riding a car.  Medication that is meant to calm your pet may do better than those which are used for motion sickness. Before you give your pet any type of medicine, make sure you check with your vet ahead of time.

Bathroom Breaks

You will need to take a lot of breaks to the bathroom for trips that are longer. When you stop the car, make sure that before you even get the car door open, you connect your pet’s collar to a leash. In strange locations, your pet may not react the way you expect. As a matter of fact, when given a chance, your pet may bolt out of the car door the moment it opens. You can prevent this from happening with a secure leash.

Slowly But Surely

It is better to take it slow when it comes to acclimating pets to cars. Use treats and loads of praise to make car riding a good experience for your pet. To begin, you can take your pet into the car, restrain him, turn the engine one, count one to ten and then turn off the engine. Take him out of the car; give a treat and lots of praise. The time of acclimation can then increase slowly, and once you have gone up to five minutes, you can take a ride down the street before giving the same rewards and praise. The idea is to make car riding less threatening and even fun for your dog.

Better Safe Than Sorry

When traveling with your pet dog or cat, it is a good idea to take all the vaccine information and even their picture with you. Make sure your dog has identification that is adequate, such as ID tags. After all, you may not know what unexpected situation may pop up on a road trip!

Restrain Your Pet


Whether you use a pet carrier or a seatbelt harness, you must keep your pet restrained. It is a risk to let pets run around with no restraint inside your car. This not only risks the driver possibly being distracted by his pet or the pet accidentally stepping on the gas or brake pedals. 

Mark Perissinotto has been a practicing veterinarian for over 20 years, 14 years of which he was the owner and principal of a busy multi-vet mixed animal hospital. One of the two co-founders of Vet Shop Australia, graduated from the University of Queensland with Bachelor of Veterinary Science and one of the best retailer of pet supplies Australia.

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1 comments

  1. Travelling with pets is not as easy as it seems, you have to be aware about the pets' movements for motion sickness, bathroom breaks from time to time and whether the pet is comfortable while travelling or not.

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