Whether they’re following you around the house or coming with you on a weekend adventure, we’re guessing you and your dachshund go just about everywhere together. Traveling by car requires a little more forethought than just clipping on their leash, though. Here are some tips to help you prioritize your dachshund’s comfort and safety in the car so that you can both enjoy the ride.
Safety first, right? For the safety of both you and your dachshund, you’ll want to make sure they’re secure in the back seat — protecting them from any sudden movements while allowing you to keep your eyes on the road. Since seatbelts were designed for humans, setting up a safe spot for your dox requires a little extra preparation. You’re best off investing in a car harness, keeping your dachshund’s entire torso secured and ensuring there’s no strain on their neck or spine. Another great option? Treating your pup to a doggie car seat, which provides them with a safe, elevated space to keep watch over everything you’re doing. These booster seats are perfect for doxies who don’t relish the idea of being separated from you for very long, as they create a good perch for your pup. One last thing — as cute as puppy ears flapping in the wind are, dogs are safest when their entire body is inside the car.
Normalize car time
Just as you took the time to help your pup approach new sounds and spaces with ease, normalizing car rides gets you bonus socialization points. To avoid your dachshund experiencing any dread when you get in the car, make sure the experience is comfortable and fun for them. Start slow, spending time with them in a parked car, and work your way up to short rides around the block and to the dog park before you go on any longer trips. Pace yourself based on your pup’s comfort level — wait until they’re relaxed and content in the car before you move on to a longer ride. The last thing you want is for your doxie to associate getting in the car with going to the vet, so vary the destination of your car rides and keep praising your pup for good behavior in the car.
Avoid upset tummies
One easy way to prevent carsickness? Leaving at least a few hours between the last time you fed your dox and the time that you’re getting in the car will make for a more comfortable ride. This is especially important if you have a younger dachshund, because they haven’t yet developed their equilibrium and are more susceptible to carsickness as a result. Another thing to keep in mind? Anxiety in the car can often present itself as carsickness, so if your dachshund gets sick on even the shortest ride, it may be worth working on their comfort level with the car.
Comfort is key
The more comfortable your pup is in the car, the smoother the ride will be. For starters, keep the car relatively cool to prevent panting and overheating. If your dachshund isn’t the biggest fan of car rides, packing a favorite pillow or toy on longer rides is a great way to make the trip more enjoyable, too. And if you’ll be in the car for a while, make sure to stop every hour or two for a pee break and a chance to have some water. Just as humans need to stretch their legs during long car rides, the same applies to your pup!
Once your dachshund is comfortable in the car, the possibilities for adventures are endless. Road trip, anyone?