MT. PLEASANT, Mich. -- For many people, dogs are members of the family. As such, they'll get to tag along on all of the fun family vacations you have planned this summer! Though sometimes, our furry friends can get just a little too excited about all the awesome adventures they'll be going on with you, or they may get a little freaked out by being inside of a moving vehicle. Regardless of the issue, there's always a solution.
Ringing in National Pet Month, Graff Mt. Pleasant is here with 5 travel tips for dog owners.
1. BURN EXCESS ENERGY
The most important thing you can do before piling your pooch in the car with the rest of the kids is to give him a good dose of physical activity to burn off energy prior to getting on the road. Playing a couple rounds of fetch will make your dog more inclined to rest, thus making the journey a lot smoother and more relaxing for everyone. You can repeat this process over the course of your trip when making a rest stop. Just hook up the leash and do a couple laps in a safe and open area.
2. FOOD AND WATER
Unexpected delays are a part of traveling, which is why you should always be prepared with extra food and water if you've brought your dog along. There are tons of food and water containers for dogs that are specifically designed for travel, and can thus be packed away and transported easily.
3. BE VIGILANT
Even if your dog is highly car-trained, it's always a good idea to take precautions just in case. For instance, it's a fact that dogs love open windows. However, there's always the risk that their super-sensitive noses will pick up a particularly interesting smell, and they'll jump right out of the car. Be aware of your dog's size and crack the window accordingly.
In addition to sensitive smell sense, dogs also have a crazy sense of hearing well-above human levels. That being said, unfamiliar sounds can cause them to retreat to their main source of comfort: you. Which can be very dangerous if you're driving. If you don't feel comfortable crating your dog up for the drive, invest in a "dog hammock" for your back seat. These not only prevent them from falling to the floor should you have to make a hard stop, but also make it harder for them to hop up front and cause a distraction.
4. START THEM YOUNG
The best way to get a dog used to anything is to start when they're a puppy, and that includes traveling. Car-training can even be accomplished with simple trips like running errands. This is also a good time to establish rules and boundaries to keep both you and your pup safe on your adventures.
5. KEEP THE ENERGY POSITIVE
Dogs operate primarily on instinct and thus are highly affected by body language, vocal tones, and emotional vibes. On top of that, as the leader of their pack, they look to you for direction. If you make it seem like something is wrong, your dog will become anxious. That's why it's important to keep the energy positive when traveling with them. Give them frequent notes of affirmation like "You're doing such a great job!" or "That's my good boy/girl!" being sure to use a positive but not excited tone of voice. This will help keep them calm on long drives and prevent any stress that may cause them to put you or themselves in danger.
In honor of National Pet Month and preparation for driving season, those were 5 travel tips for dog owners. Graff Mt. Pleasant wishes you and your pooch safe, healthy, and most importantly fun adventures this summer! Before you hit the road, ensure that your car is running at its best by scheduling a service appointment with us! If you schedule online, you'll receive 10% off no matter what kind of service you need! Happy trails!
At Hank Graff Mt. Pleasant we strive to provide our customers with a car buying experience that is accommodating, stress-free and fun! Visit us at our Chevrolet dealership located at 4580 E Pickard Rd in Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48858 or our Buick GMC Cadillac dealership located at 116 N. Mission St in Mount Pleasant, MI 48858.