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Travelling with your Dog

This lovable Channel Magazine feature is presented by Louise O’Sullivan of DogHQ, the North Shore’s award winning Dog Day Care facility. DogHQ provides the ultimate in social, physical and mental stimulation for dogs of all types in a safe and caring environment. DogHQ’s full range of services include obedience training, grooming and all natural nutrition. See all the fun for yourself at www.doghq.co.nz and www.facebook.com/doghq

It’s not necessarily something you think about a great deal when you first get your puppy but travel is something you will need to get used to. Travel sickness is very common in dogs so it helps if you prepare your young dog for travel from a young age. Here are a few tips to help you on your way to great adventures with your dog:

Crate training
Crate training has become a very useful and popular way to house train puppies. It is well recognised that when properly introduced, dogs love the security that their man-made den provides. Crate training is also a very useful way to also travel your dog in the car, providing a familiar and secure space inside the potentially scary car. The crate trained dog will also cope with the experience of flight travel much better than one that has not.

In the car
The key to normalising car travel for your dog is to start very young, with short trips that end in some fun time, not just the vet! To avoid making your dog car sick from a young age, drive carefully and avoid long journey’s on very windy roads. There is a very high rate of motion sickness amongst dogs so keep this in mind. Also use common-sense and avoid feeding your dog prior to travelling, this will only promote motion sickness.

Toilet stops
A very good reason to train your dog to “go toilet” on command is when you are travelling. Your dog has no idea he won’t get the chance to go to the toilet for an hour or three so making sure his bladder is empty before you set off will make a big difference. And always stop for a leg stretch, water and toilet session every two to three hours on a long trip (shorter if it’s a puppy).

Window treatment

It’s not a good idea to let your dog stick it’s head out the window when you drive. You should try it yourself if you don’t agree! There are all sorts of potential hazards to the practice so it is best to never allow this habit to start.

Temperature
Dogs are far more sensitive to heat than we are so you need to think about the temperature inside your car when you travel your dog. It is an obvious consideration in the peak heat of summer, but some designs of car can also get very hot sitting in the sun in winter. Take the time to cool your car down with aircon if you need to before setting off. A hot dog is a stressed dog.

Pet friendly accommodation
If you are making a very long car trip with your dog, plan ahead so you can book some dog friendly accommodation along your way. These days there are a lot more accommodation options for those travelling with dogs. This will make your adventure a lot more enjoyable.

Indie’s Insights
Car’s are great, they take you to all the fun places in life (apart from the vet) and sometimes they have hidden treats to find! I think my human’s car is a little too high though…it requires an unreasonable amount of effort on my part to get in.

by Louise O'Sullivan

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