For many dog owners, the car is one of the most popular forms of travel, precisely because the ride can be adapted to the dog’s individual needs.
Basic rules for safe transport
However, especially in the hot season, some basic rules should be observed so as not to endanger the dog’s health and to make the trip as pleasant as possible.
The following rules assume that the dog is used to driving. If this is not the case, he must be desensitized long before the start of the trip, i.e. accustomed to the new situation.
Supply during the road trip
To prevent nausea and vomiting, the dog should no longer be fed four to six hours before departure and should fast during the journey. However, a bowl of fresh drinking water must always be available and an extra bottle should be kept as a reserve for breaks along the roadside. You can usually do without a warm dog blanket in summer, a cool terry towel does a better job here.
Security at home and abroad
In all European countries, it is a legal requirement to secure dogs accordingly. The best place for larger dogs is in the trunk behind a partition net or grille. However, if the space is needed for the luggage, the dog can also be fixed on the back seat with a corresponding approved seat belt. Smaller and medium-sized dogs are safest in a transport box, provided they are used to it.
Especially in the warm season, driving a car is an enormous burden for the dog. For this reason, it is extremely important to make sure that you have sufficient fluids. Travel bowls, which prevent overflowing, are well suited for this. Special drinking bottles are also available for transport boxes. In addition, the dog must never be left alone in the car! Even a car parked in the shade with the window slightly open can quickly heat up to 60 ° C in midsummer and be a life-threatening trap for the dog.
Risks of overheating
In a hot car, the temperature rises quickly, and with it the dog’s body temperature. From a body temperature of 41 ° C, the blood is pumped into the outer parts of the body for better cooling. As a result, the vital organs are only insufficiently supplied with blood. This is where the heat stroke begins. The dog begins to stagger, pant heavily and has difficulty standing. In addition, consciousness disorders, cramps and vomiting can occur. If these signs are not recognized and the body temperature continues to rise (up to 43 ° C), there is an acute risk to life! Because of this, dogs should never remain alone in the car in warm temperatures – no matter how short.
The dog should not sit in the wind for a long time or hold its head out of the window, as this quickly damages the sensitive neck region and the eyes and can lead to inflammation. In warm weather, the majority of the route should be covered early in the morning or in the evening, and more breaks and overnight stays should be taken on longer trips.