Many dog owners dread taking their puppy in the car. Trips to the vet or the park often end in yelping and barking, as well as quite a mess in the car.
But car rides don’t have to be a source of anxiety for you and your Labradoodle. With some simple training- as well as lots of patience- you can teach your puppy to tolerate the car.
Before you put your puppy in the car, you need to have all of the right supplies. Car rides can be an anxious experience for puppies, so do everything you can to calm them down by making the car a comfortable environment.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Stain and odor removers
The most precious Labradoodle in the world is still going to have some accidents in the car. Be ready for these by bringing along plenty of your favorite quick acting odor and stain remover
Even if you’re planning on a fairly short trip, make sure that you bring poop bags along for the ride.
Bedding and blankets
Try to make your puppy as comfortable as possible by bringing blankets and bedding. This will also make them more likely to lie down and relax, rather than pace and get car sick
Bring a few of your dog’s favorite toys to keep them occupied on the road. This also makes them less likely to jump on you as you drive
Food and treats
If you’re going on a road trip, make sure you pack enough of your Labradoodle’s regular food. Also bring plenty of treats to reward your puppy for good behavior and keep them calm
It’s much easier for dogs to learn how to ride in the car when they’re young. If you wait too long, your dog may always fear the car. That’s why you should try to get started as early as possible and get your Labradoodle in the car while they’re a puppy.
Try to start off with short trips to pleasant places that your dog enjoys. Once you get to the destination, reward your dog and praise them. As they get used to the car, slowly increase the length of trips.
Also make sure that your dog’s first car ride isn’t to the vet. Visits to the vet can be quite stressful for your Labradoodle. If they aren’t used to car rides, they may associate the car with the anxiety they feel at the vet.
This then may make it hard to take them anywhere in the car, even if it’s just to the dog park. Make your dog’s first memories in the car as happy as possible.
You should also take steps to ensure that your Labradoodle is safe on the road. Many dog owners let their puppy roam free whenever they go for a road trip. But this is extremely dangerous, both for you and for the dog.
Even small Labradoodle puppies can turn into dangerous projectiles if you’re in an accident. To avoid this, always keep your dog restrained when they are in the car. There are a few ways to do this:
Dog safety harness
This is by far the safest option for restraining your dog in the car. It will keep your dog in place, which may also help reduce car sickness.
Make sure that you choose a harness that fits your dog. If it’s too big, your dog may sneak out of it or get caught around their neck.
You can also keep your dog in a crate. This isn’t quite as safe as a harness, as your dog can still slam against the walls of the crate. But it’s much better than nothing, and protects you and any passengers in the car.
Just make sure that the crate itself is tied down. If it’s not, the crate will do little to protect you and your dog.
If you choose to allow your dog to roam free, at least make sure that they stay in the backseat. Many accidents with dogs in the car are caused because drivers are distracted by their puppy climbing into the front seat.
Also keep your dog inside the car at all times when you’re driving. It looks cute when your Labradoodle wags its tongue out of an open window, but it can be quite dangerous.
If you’re running errands, don’t leave your Labradoodle alone in the car for any period longer than 10 minutes. Cars heat up quickly, putting your Labradoodle at risk for a heat stroke on hot summer days. Temperatures can drop quickly in the winter, which can be dangerous for your dog.
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