Dog Car Harness



Once they are used to traveling in the car, most dogs seem to enjoy being taken out in this way. At first, however, being unused to the sensations of the journey, they may well be car sick. There is little that can be done at this stage. To minimize the risk, keep the dog securely confined in a suitable traveling cage. This can be positioned in the rear of the car, but never be tempted to put a dog in a cage in the boot (trunk) of a car. It is likely to be frightened in the dark, and there is always the possibility of exhaust fumes leaking into this compartment, sometimes with deadly effects.
Always line the traveling cage with a good layer of absorbent paper, with a piece of toweling on top. Here, after a while, the dog should curl up and sleep. Try to ensure that it has relieved itself before the journey, and do not feed the dog immediately before setting out, since this appears to increase the risk of travel sickness. At first young dogs may paw at the floor and whine when confined in this way, but obviously you must ignore this while you are driving. Never allow a young dog in particular to have free access in a car, because inevitably it will prove a distraction and may even cause an accident.
It is a good idea to take a young dog out for short drives before it has completed its course of inoculations. This will help as part of the socialization process, but do bear in mind that you will not be able to allow it to scamper about at the end of the journey until you return home, because it will not be fully protected at this stage.
Most dogs are keen to travel in a car, but a bad experience can dent their enthusiasm in this respect. If your dog does start retching, do not scold it, since it will be unable to help this involuntary reaction. Instead, try to pull over if possible and find somewhere to take the dog out of the car, in its traveling cage, so that it can have fresh air. Recovery from the effects of travel sickness is very rapid. While you are moving, make sure that the interior of the car is well ventilated, although, obviously, the dog must not be left in a direct draught.

On occasions, especially if they have been sick repeatedly, some dogs may be reluctant to enter a car. This can become a real problem unless the situation is handled cautiously, because simply lifting the dog up and placing it in the car will be counter-productive. A step-by-step approach is required: first to entice the dog into the car, then allow it to become used to resting here without being driven off. It will be ideal if you can park the car in such a way that the dog can move in and out as it wants, with the door left open, although clearly this will not be possible unless you have a driveway with a gate at the end.
The next stage will be to train the dog to sit in the car with the doors closed, and the engine turning over with you in the driver’s seat. It is generally older dogs that are nervous of vehicles, especially if they are strays whose only previous experience of traveling in this fashion is being dumped in the dog warden’s van.
Your car will need to be equipped with a proper dog guard if at all possible, to prevent the dog from jumping back and forth across the seats. This is particularly likely in the case of a nervous individual. For smaller breeds, a dog traveling cage may be useful. You can also buy special seat belts for dogs, to restrain their movements within a car. Adult dogs sometimes find these rather distressing, however, simply because the dog has little freedom of movement and may start to panic under these circumstances.
Dogs must be trained to behave properly in cars, however they are transported. While there is nothing to be gained by scolding an individual being sick, you should take action to prevent whining or barking, giving a firm ‘no’ by way of command. Should this persist with a dog housed in a traveling cage, then you can cover the cage using a blanket or sheet. The dog will then usually be quiet, and after a short period you can remove the cover. After a time, realizing that it will be deprived from human company, it should desist.
Some dogs may become over excited when taken out in the car, associating this with walks. They bark and jump around excitedly, becoming particularly frenetic if you stop somewhere else, rather than taking them immediately for a walk. By the time this stage has been reached it is rather late to try and prevent it. For this reason you should take young dogs out on various journeys, and not just when they are going for a walk. This should prevent a problem of this type from recurring.
If you have a dog that behaves in this fashion, do not encourage it by making soothing noises, entreating it to calm down. This is merely likely to reinforce this response to traveling. Instead, stop the car at a suitable spot and walk away out of sight for a few minutes. Deprived of attention, the dog should then quieten down quite quickly, and ultimately behavior of this kind can be overcome if you then return home without allowing the dog out of the vehicle on this occasion.
You must always be careful, however, whet leaving a dog in a car, that it will not succumb to heat stroke. This is not only a problem in the warmer parts of the world. In temperate climates as well many dogs die in tragic circumstances for this reason each summer The temperature within a car with its windows closed can rise rapidly to fatal levels, literally ir minutes, especially if it is parked in direct sunshine. Do not rely on ventilator grilles which can be fitted partially over a window, these may prove inadequate.
Indeed, you should never have a window half open and leave the dog inside, effectively guarding the car. This can be disastrous, especially if young children are passing and -to make a fuss of the dog. Seeing the car as territory, the dog may attempt to snap fierce.. at them. If your dog shows signs of behaving in this fashion then you will need to train it to ignore people who come close to the car ‘no’ and the command ‘sit’ should be used for this purpose.
Another reason for keeping the dog safely confined behind a grille is to prevent damage to the upholstery of the vehicle, as could otherwise happen in your absence.
If it becomes bored, a young dog especially may try to gnaw at a seat and cause a lot of damage. In any event, it will be worthwhile fitting protective covers if the dog is allowed into the passenger seats of the vehicle at any stage, because otherwise, its hairs will stick to the upholstery.
If you find that your dog still appears distressed, in spite of all your attempts to settle it down to travel readily in a car, then you may want to speak with your vet about the problem. It might be possible to resolve the situation with a course of tranquillizers. Usually given in tablet form before a journey, a sedative of this kind may occasionally be valuable for a highly nervous dog. Once the sedative begins to take effect the dog may relax sufficiently to appreciate that the journey poses no threat, and in the future medication will be unnecessary. Relying on drugs for this purpose should be seen very much as the last resort, however, and the huge majority of dogs adapt to this form of transportation without difficulty, from an early age.
It is a bad idea to encourage a dog to jump into a vehicle as shown here. Small breeds like Dachshunds are liable to injure their backs, sometimes seriously, as a result. They should be lifted up. if you stop for a while, by all means allow your dog to join you in the front of the car. But never drive along with the dog loose, as it could easily distract you momentarily, and lead to an accident.