Car Journeys with your Canine Companion
It is a good idea to accustom your new dog to car trips early in life and create a pleasant experience. Picking up your new puppy and bringing them home is likely your puppy’s second time in a car (the first is likely to be when we take them to their first vet visit). If the only time your pup goes in the car is for a vet visit, he may associate car travel with a negative experience, so may effort to include your puppy in your daily activities, train them to be safe, happy and comfortable traveling in your car.
Keep your Precious Cargo Safe!
The safest way to transport your chihuahua puppy is in a hard sided travel crate. Place the crate in the back seat, or hatch an area that is ventilated. Never put your puppy in the trunk! Traveling with your puppy it its carrier will prevent him from distracting you by jumping all over while driving, as well as provide protection in the event of an accident. He may whine or cry initially, but try to leave him there while you are driving. Place some familiar toys and blankets in his crate to keep him comfortable. Dog harnesses and car seats are also available for the car, but not suitable for tiny puppies.
While driving be sure to keep the car well ventilated, and be mindful of your driving habits. Quick changing of gears, and accelerated starting and braking may not only frighten your pup, but may also injure him if he is flung around inside the crate. Unpredictable motions and jerky movements can also make him quite car sick! Start with small drives, such as to the local park or beach, somewhere fun where you can enjoy some out door time with your pup and reward him for good behavior. Eventually you can increase the duration of your travels as he becomes more comfortable in the car and be sure to stop for potty breaks if the trip is long!
Important Travel Tips
NEVER leave your dog in the car by himself, and never ever with the windows rolled up! Especially on a hot day he is likely to overheat in a very short time and be potentially fatal. Seems like common sense, yet we always hear stories of it happening in a mall parking lot. Use extreme caution, and plan ahead if taking your dog out with you.
To help avoid car sickness, don’t feed him immediately before a long trip. Make sure he is well hydrated and perhaps give him some nutri-cal to keep his glucose levels up especially in young or tiny dogs before the journey.
Be prepared! Bring water, nutri-cal, and a small container of dry kibble and bowls if you plan on being gone for an extended time.
Help prevent accidents! Allow your puppy to go to the bathroom before getting in the car. Be prepared with poo bags, paper towel or baby wipes and hand sanitizer in case your pup gets car sick or has an accident.