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“Want to go for a ride?” For many pet owners, these words will trigger extreme joy and excitement in their pets. Here are some reasons why pets love car rides and a few tips to make the trip safer and stress-free for you and your pets.
Do Dogs Enjoy Car Rides?
Absolutely! For many dogs, the promise of a car ride is a new adventure outside of their home. One reason is the sensory experience: compared to a human’s 50 million olfactory (nose) receptacles, dogs have 200 million. Even having the window cracked while driving brings a constant flow of scents and information to your dog’s nose.
It’s not just the journey dogs love, but the destination as well. If you take your dog with you on car rides, they will get to see new things, meet new people, and fun treats from time to time! Even a vet appointment can be a positive experience if it’s followed up with dog-friendly ice cream!
What about Cats?
Most cats are not car-ride inclined. They would rather keep their paws on the solid ground. However, some cats enjoy the adventure, like their dog peers. Nevertheless, here are a few things you can do to make the necessary car ride go smoother:
- Provide a cat carrier that is comfy and secure
- Bring a favorite blanket and toy
- If a cat is particularly stressed, a towel or blanket over the carrier could help them feel safer
Image Credit: Openbay Overdrive
How to Prep the Car?
It goes without saying that messes and accidents happen with pets. That’s why, before undertaking a car ride of any duration, you should prep your car first with a few essentials:
- A clean-up kit for accidents
- Car floor mats that are easy to remove and clean
- Seat covers to protect the seats from scratches, stains, and fur build-up
- Window wipes to take care of any mess your pet eaves behind on the glass
- Extra collar and/or leash
Image credit: AutoPreme Floor Mats
What to Bring?
To make any car ride safe and positive, here’s a list of things to bring for any pet:
- Appropriate-sized crate or carrier
- Water and food/treats
- Toy and/or blanket for security
- Paper towels
- Identification and health records
- Litterbox for cats/disposable poop bags for dogs
- If your pet gets a bit carsick, talk to your vet about medicine
Image credit: PetMD
Most dogs and even the few rare cats love the adventure and excitement of going for a car ride. For those pets who aren’t thrilled with a car ride though, a little planning and forethought can make even a vet appointment better. So whether the trip is short or long, plan to take your pet with you. They’ll love you all the more for it!