We’re all jealous of that one friend whose dog loves to ride in the car, their tongue wagging out of the window. You might wonder why your dog can’t be so well behaved when you go on road trips.
Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to help your Lab love car rides. Here, we’ll walk you through how to car train your dog and get them ready for your next road trip.
Any successful road trip starts with preparation. You need to make sure that you have all of the essentials for your trip, so you can be ready no matter what happens. Here’s what you should pack:
Your Lab is likely going to have some accidents as they adjust to the car. Be prepared by bringing plenty of stain and odor removers to keep your car from getting destroyed
One of the best ways to make car trips less stressful is to make your Lab comfortable. You want them to lie down and stay still, so pack some comfortable bedding, including towels and blankets
Treats are the magic wand when it comes to dogs. Make sure you have enough with you on every car ride. If you are going on a longer trip, you should also pack enough of your dog’s regular food
Last but not least, make sure you have a way of restraining your dog in the car. A safety harness is the best option, although a crate will also work.
The best way to ensure your Lab loves the car is to take them on rides as soon as you can. It’s easier for young dogs to adjust to the car, so take advantage of this while you can.
If you are getting your dog from a nearby breeder, you can pick them up yourself so that they get used to the car from the first day. Try to bring another person with you to comfort your puppy as you drive.
It’s important that your Lab doesn’t associate car rides with anxiety. When you first start putting them in the car, take them on short rides to places that they love, such as the dog park. As they adjust to the car, you can take them on longer and longer rides.
Make sure that your Lab’s first car ride isn’t to the vet. They may associate the anxiety they feel at the vet with the car ride. This can make it difficult to get them in the car later on, even if you’re taking them to places they like.
Most people don’t restrain their dog when they take them in the car. But it’s important for both you and your dog’s safety that they stay restrained whenever they’re in the car.
The best way to do this is with a safety harness. These are devices that are designed to keep your Lab from moving around as you drive, and will protect them if you stop suddenly or are in an accident.
Make sure you choose a safety harness that fits properly. If it’s too small, they might be in pain, and if it’s too loose, they may slip out.
You can also use a crate to keep your dog from moving around. Although not quite as effective as a safety harness, crates are a good way of preventing your dog from flying forward should you get in an accident.
If you choose to let your dog move around while you drive, at least make sure that they never sit in the front seat. They can distract you and cause you to crash, putting both of your lives at risk.
Many dog owners will leave their Lab alone in the car as they run errands. We strongly advise against this, even if you’re just running into the store for a few minutes.
Your Lab may get anxious if you leave them alone, causing them to bark and scratch. Dogs can also heat up quickly during the summer, so never leave them alone in a car without AC.
If you do leave your Lab alone in the car, make sure they’re alone for no more than 10 minutes.
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