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Tips for a successful car ride with your dog

Have you ever been on a car ride with your dog? Going on a car ride with your dog can be a lot of fun, but it can also be one of the most challenging things that a pet owner must deal with. If you find yourself heading out on a car ride to the park or on a long road trip with your dog, it's important to have some tips in order to make sure you and your dog have a smooth experience. Keep reading to learn more about it.

Let your dog get used to your car

The first thing you should do is to help them get used to the car and make them more comfortable with it in general. If you have a dog that does not like cars, start by taking him to short rides around the neighborhood so that he can get used to being in a moving vehicle without being scared of it too much.

To make it easier if your dog is afraid of cars, you can start by taking him on a walk before bringing him into one because it can help build up his confidence.

Give them their own dedicated comfortable space in the car

Use a crate or dog seat belt when you take your dog for a car ride, especially if you travel long distances. This can be as simple as placing a blanket on the seat or floor of your car and having your dog curl up there while traveling, or it could be something more elaborate like an entire kennel or specialized car dog seats (safer if it includes a harness or seat belt!). The important thing is that they have somewhere safe, secure, and comfortable to sleep (or nap) during the ride!

Keep your dog’s head in the vehicle

This is one of the most important tips for a successful car ride with your dog. It's also one of the easiest because it means you can take advantage of two-way communication between you and your pet (as opposed to having only one way) due to the lower noise and distractions. You might even want to consider putting down some treats while they're seated just so they'll be more likely to stay put during the journey together.

Don’t let your dog ride in the front seat

If you want to keep your dog safe and avoid any potential injuries, it's important that they are not in the front passenger seat. There are many reasons why this is so:

  • Dogs can distract drivers from their driving tasks. This means they may have less attention on the road and be less alert than they otherwise would be while driving.
  • Dogs can also be injured by being thrown around during a crash or accidentally hit by airbags deployed in an accident. This can lead to serious injuries such as spinal cord injuries (SCIs), head trauma, and even death!

Plan bathroom breaks

If you have a dog with a sensitive bladder, it's important to give your dog time to go potty before you leave on your drive and stop regularly on long rides. Make sure they've had enough water and don't let them drink or eat while driving!

Don’t leave your pet alone in a parked car

Temperature inside a parked car can increase drastically and it can even reach a deadly hot temperature. If you leave your dog inside your car for any reason in a hot area, it can overheat easily and lead to serious health problems. Dogs have different bodies than humans do, they only produce sweat in certain parts of their bodies and makes it harder for them to regulate their temperature. 

Dog looking through a car window

Important things to bring on a roadtrip with your dog

  • Dog’s Vaccination record. When you’re taking your dog on a car ride, make sure you have a copy of their vaccination record on hand. This can be particularly helpful if you’re asked to show proof that your dog has been vaccinated. In some states and countries, it is required by law for dogs to be up-to-date with their vaccinations before travel.

  • Dog’s Tags. Up-to-date dog tags are an essential part of any car trip with your dog. A dog tag is a metal identification device that your pet wears on its collar or harness, identifying it as belonging to you (or at least someone with access). If you don't have up-to-date tags for both yourself and the canine companion in your vehicle, be prepared for a lot of questions from police officers and other drivers alike!

  • Food, Water, and Emergency Travel Kit. You should bring enough food, water, any medication your dog needs and a dog first aid kit. A dog car seat with a harness or seat belt is recommended. Also, don’t forget the leash with collar or harness! 


Remember, it's our job as dog owners to make sure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable car ride. It's also important that we don't blame our dogs for things out of their control. Positive reinforcement is a more effective way of training your dog than punishment. If you want to make sure that your dog knows what you want him or her to do, positive reinforcement is the best way to do it.

For more information, please feel free to contact us and talk to one of our Pet Experts and get customized advice by submitting a request through our Mavyn app or Mavyn Pet page.