Looking for some tips on how to ferry your dogs around in your Volkswagen? Well, you’re in luck! In this special feature, we learn valuable pet care tips from Su Lin, the founder of K9 Kampong! A qualified canine behaviourist and AVA accredited dog trainer, Su offers obedience training and behaviour modification services for dogs. Read on to find out what she has to say!
For maximum safety while travelling, always ensure that your dog is restrained securely but with enough room to sit up comfortably. “Don’t let your dog ‘free-roam’,” Su cautions. Use a harness or have your pet put into a dog crate or carrier, before having the carrier properly tied down.
Dog harnesses could also be used to restrain your dog, but do ensure that you get one that is sufficiently padded. Su also adds, “As a special tip for hatchbacks, SUVs and estate car drivers, dog guards can be fitted between the back of the seats and the boot area to provide a safe restricted area for the dog.”
Don’t risk it for that Instagram moment.
You’ve probably seen those quirky photos with dogs excitedly sticking their heads out of the window in moving cars. It makes for a great photo but it puts your dog in a very dangerous position. Su tells us that drivers should never leave their dogs unrestrained in a moving car, and that it would not be advisable to leave the window open unless the car is secured properly. “You never know if your canine companion might spot a cat and charge after it!” Su says.
Wondering if it’s better to let your dog sit up front next to you or in the back? Though it’s fine anywhere as long as your dog is properly restrained, Su says that the back seat might be best after all. If your pet is seated there, it would be less distracting for you while driving and allow you to focus more attention on the road!
Dog crates or carriers are one of the safest ways to transport your pets. “Not only do they provide protection in the event of an accident, they also facilitate cleaning any doggy mess and help lessen driver distractions,” Su explains. They are made of either durable plastic or painted metal, with a metal mesh door at one end and a carrying handle on top. The best way to select one that’s right for your dog is to ensure that there’s enough space for them to sit up and stretch.
So you’re all set for your first spin around the block with your dog, but it doesn’t seem to be ready for the drive. First, find out what’s stressing your pet out, then attach a positive association with the experience of travelling in a car. If your dog is bothered by the vibration of the engine, you could start by luring the dog into the stationary car and spend short period of time playing or feeding your dog in there.
You could also start the engine and play with your dog outside the car, or have a trusted member of the family inside the car to show it that being in a car is not a frightening experience. Su also suggests that playing calming music, massaging your furry friend with a small dose of lavender oil on it, or having a favourite toy would be helpful as it will keep your dog’s mind engaged in something else.
If you’re hoping to better understand your dog and learn effective techniques to help raise a happy, healthy and well-adjusted dog, look no further than canine behaviour specialists K9 Kampong! Click here to find out more!