Driving with your Dog to your Camping Destination

Driving with your DogFollow this guide on how to travel with your dog safely and stress free to your camping destination.

Restrain your Dog in the Car

Instead of having your dog loose and roaming the car causing stress to you and your dog have him restrained. Whether you put your dog in a dog carrier, a dog crate or harness him to the car seat to ensure your dog is kept in place. This will be less stressful for your dog and prevent injury as well as keep you focused on driving safely. I do not recommend having your dog in the open bed of a truck; it is extremely dangerous for your dog can lead to serious injury or death. If you care for your dog, secure him.

Vehicle Heating and Cooling

If you are going to be driving in extreme hot or cold temperatures, protect your dog and yourself from becoming too hot or too cold by using your car’s heating and cooling systems. Adjust the car’s temperature by either turning the air conditioning or heat on. Heat is especially dangerous for dogs in a car. Dogs can easily suffer heat exhaustion and heat stroke while in a hot car.

Don’t Leave Your Dog Alone in Your Vehicle

Car temperatures can rise extremely quickly, especially in the warmer months. These high temperatures are fatal to dogs left unattended in a car, causing your dog heat exhaustion, heat stroke or even death. Never leave your dog in your car in months of high temperatures even for only a short while. Even if you leave the window down for him, the temperature can rise so quick that even an open window will not be enough to cool him down. If leaving your dog in the car, be extra cautious during hot/warm days – even in winter.

Heat Exhaustion or Stroke

Heat exhaustion or stroke is life threatening for your dog and in a hot/warm car your dog is more prone to one of these conditions. Dogs have a higher body temperature than humans so they can get overheated very quickly. If you are hot in your car, then you can be sure that your dog is far too hot. You can tell when your dog is too hot when he is rapidly panting and his tongue is bright red. Panting is a dog’s most efficient way of trying to cool down, but this cooling process causes evaporation which will lead quickly to dehydration. Ensure that you give your dog lots of water to try and help cool him down. As well, try to make the car as cool as possible to make him more comfortable. Short nosed dogs (i.e. pugs, bulldogs) have a harder time keeping cool via panting so they need to be closely watched. Also, if your dog has a thick coat of fur he will get hot much sooner.

For more information on keeping your dog cool, read the suggestions provided by The Dog FAQs.

Make Stops On The Way To Your Camping Destination

It is important when traveling with a dog in the car that you take the necessary breaks to let your dog out of the car to relieve himself and give him a chance to walk around and stretch. This is also a good time to give him some water to keep him from getting dehydrated. You will have to be the judge of whether or not you want to give him some food; be warned that the food he eats may come up on your car’s upholstery later in the journey. Dogs are known to get car sick, so giving him some food before going back in the car may not be wise. If your dog does get car sick and throw up, clean it up with some paper towels and, if on hand, spray the carpet with some mild carpet cleaner. I strongly recommend Folex carpet cleaner, it amazes me every time I use it.

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Author: Kaitlyn
(The CampTrip Team)

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