How to Transport a Puppy in a Car

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It is important to teach a puppy how to safely and securely ride in a car on short trips to the dog park or somewhere fun, so he can shift to riding long distances on road trips with you. Make sure your pooch has a sturdy collar on with his tags and your cell number on it for identification if he gets loose.

Secure Your Puppy

The safest mode of transportation for you and your pet is to have him secured in the vehicle. Puppies and dogs are curious in roaming around a car or truck. Your pet could distract you or get near the driver's feet and cause a wreck. Pets should not travel in someone's lap. Dogs roaming in a car can also eat things they find hidden under a seat and get sick from it.

Use a crash-tested crate in the rear of your vehicle and secure it in place for the best protection in case of sudden braking. The crate should have good ventilation so your pooch can get adequate air conditioning or heating. A dog harness seat belt allows your dog to sit or lie in one place and protects him from accidents.

Comfortable Crates

Place your puppy's bed or a fluffy blanket in the bottom of his crate to prevent him from lying on a hard, plastic surface on long trips. Bring several of his toys to occupy his time while he is crated and riding with you.

Food and Water

Take your puppy or dog's water and food bowls with you on a long trip. Bring any medications or supplements that your dog takes as well as his dog food that he eats daily.

Fill gallon jugs of water from your home for your dog on long trips. Municipal water systems differ from place to place and it can give your furry friend a case of diarrhea if he drinks the local water.

Car Sickness

Some pets get car sick just as some people do. If you know your dog gets car sick, give him a small meal a few hours before you depart on a trip. Offer him small amounts of water at a time before and during the trip.

Warning

  • A dog should never travel in the bed of a truck unless he is secure in a crate and the crate is attached to the truck bed. Loose dogs can be thrown out of the truck when you hit bumps or swerve quickly. In some states, traveling with your dog in the truck bed is illegal.

Tip

    • Don't let your dog or puppy put his head outside of a window. The excessive wind causes ear infections and can cause eye injuries from flying debris. 
    • Stop every two to three hours to take a break and stretch your legs. Connect your pet's leash before you open the door so he doesn't escape in a strange environment. Allow your pooch to walk around and do his business on leash.
    • Keep your pet comfortable in all seasons. Some of the rear portions of vehicles do not have air vents. Turn up the air conditioner or heater and point vents up and to the rear to keep your furry friend comfortable on long trips.
    • If you travel frequently with your dog, make a checklist of items to take with you on each trip. Include:

    Dog bowls for water and food

    1. Dog food and water
    2. Medications that your dog takes
    3. A first aid kit for dogs
    4. A sturdy collar with his tags on it
    5. A leash
    6. Blankets
    7. Toys
    8. Puzzle toys
    9. Dog treats

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