Most of us love Summer time. Relaxing and traveling, the whole family is together, creating unforgettable memories. Dogs are family members for most of us, which means that we cannot (and don’t want to) leave them home, we have to take them with us wherever we can. This sometimes means that we have to crate them in the car. In order to do that in the most efficient way possible, we can try a couple of tricks. Let’s take a more detailed look into what are those, and why can they make our life easier when it comes to “packing up” the pooch.
- Always walk your dog before the trip starts: I guess the reason is obvious. A worn out dog will be much more relaxed during the trip. It won’t bark during the whole way, and if you are lucky, depending on how many hours away your destination is, it will sleep through the whole drive.
- Never, ever leave the leash on: It is important to always take off the leash before you put your dog in the crate, or ask it to go in on their own. If you don’t take off the leash, it can actually strangle your beloved friend, which is obviously something that we cannot risk under any circumstances. If you feel that you have to hold on to the leash while the animal is in the crate in order to prevent it from moving around, that means that your dog is simply not crate trained yet, and you should not travel with it.
- Practice crating before going on the trip: If your dog is not used to crates, and you have come up with the idea only to be able to bring the animal with you, you have to practice beforehand. Don’t forget, this is a team effort. You cannot expect your dog to just jump into the crate without any game planning. If the start of the trip is the first time where your pooch interacts with the crate, you cannot expect a positive outcome. At best, the animal will be distressed and you won’t be able to ever crate him properly after that, and at worst, your dog will begin to show signs of aggressiveness of separation anxiety.
- How to practice: It’s important that you don’t put the animal directly into the crate. You put it down when they are half-way in, so they can get in on their own. That is important, because if you simply put your dog in, directly into the crate, they won’t really understand how and why they got there. Conversely, if you put them down in front of the crate, ideally they will go in on their own, and feel like that have discovered it themselves, instead of experiencing something that was forced on them.
- A blanket or a toy can work wonders: If you have a special bond with your furry little friend, your scent and presence can definitely make it relax during the trip. If that is the case, ideally you want to sit with the dog in the back. If you are the one driving, unfortunately the whole thing can work the other way. If you are the pack leader, the favorite of the dog, they will direct all their attention to you during the whole trip, and the fact that you won’t be able to pay attention to them (because you will be driving, obviously), will make them more anxious. We can combat this nervousness by bringing the dog’s favorite blanket and toy, so they have positive distractions during the trip.