Doodles tend to be just that special kind of dog that you want to bring with you everywhere you go. But there are ways to ensure Fido’s safety when you bring him on your next adventure.
First, when it comes to car safety, making sure Fido is relaxed and comfortable in the car is really important for his (and your) physical safety. Early and gradual exposure to riding in the car is important. Make sure you take your doodle out for short rides that end in fun places like the park or even just a ride around a block back to the house with lots of treats at the end! They’ll begin to associate the car rides with fun and snacks.
Why Puppy Car Safety is Critical
A dog who is nervous or anxious in the car may try to repeatedly climb into the driver’s seat or otherwise distract the driver with his frantic movements around the vehicle. An anxious dog may also try to bolt out of the car the second the door opens, which of course spells danger.
A dog who is calm and relaxed in the car should be able to rest quietly in the backseat without posing a major distraction to the driver. If you puppy is not able to do this, he/she may need to be confined in a crate or other restraint system in the vehicle.
We do recommend doggy car seats, especially for our mini doodles who tend to slip and slide during a ride without a little help with containment. An elevated car seat is often helpful for smaller doodles, too, as they are able to enjoy looking out the window which decreases chances of carsickness. Safety harnesses are helpful for keeping standard sized doodles safely restrained.
Teaching Your Puppy “Stay” and “Wait” is an Important Part of Car Safety
An unfortunately all too common cause of losing one’s dog occurs either when entering or exiting a vehicle. As a dog who is overly anxious, or just overly excited in and around cars may use the opportunity to bolt before he is properly restrained. So again, we highlight the importance of early exposure to getting in and out of the car as well as teaching your doodle a “stay” or “wait” command.
We’ve seen accidents happen even when the owner is using a leash or restraint system—such as a dog chewing through the leash during the ride without the owner being aware before opening the door.
So, using extra caution when entering or exiting the vehicle with your dog is key as well as making sure Fido is appropriately trained to be a calm passenger and able to respond to commands even with/during the excitement of a car ride to an unfamiliar location.
Finally, you have more than likely heard it before, but it is so important that it is worth saying again: Never leave your dog in a hot (or even slightly warm) car!
Even on a mild day of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature inside your car can quickly rocket to over 115 degrees, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics. Most of this heat rise occurs within just 30 minutes. And dogs can experience dangerous symptoms of heat exhaustion when their body temperature hits just 103 degrees. In the same study, cracking windows open in the car did not decrease the rate of temperature rise in the vehicle or the final maximum internal temperature.
In conclusion, the keys to your doodle’s safety when riding in the car are making sure he is exposed to riding in the car as a young puppy so that he can safely follow commands when entering and exiting the vehicle as well as remain calm during the ride which allows for safer restraint via a safety harness or dog car seat.
Finally, only bring Fido in the car if you plan on taking him wherever you are going. If your doodle cannot accompany you into the store or wherever your final destination is, it is best to leave him at home.
Jenna and the JLDD Team