Driving with a dog - tips for a dog-mobile
You will certainly have noticed that as a dog owner you adapt many aspects of your everyday life to your four-legged companion. This also includes the car - after all, you want to be mobile with your dog at all times and possibly experience a holiday or two. What should you look for in order to have the perfect dog-mobile?
The right car
The basis for the ideally equipped Dog-Mobil is the right car. The purchase needs to be well thought out, after all this is a purchase that will be used over a long period of time and should therefore be comfortable for all passengers.
Sufficient space for transport
Space, in particular, can play a big role here. This is especially true if your dog belongs to one of the many large breeds. Both the width and length as well as the height of the car are important, with the latter being particularly relevant.
With a smaller four-legged friend, you should also not underestimate the importance of space. After all, he should feel comfortable on your trips together and experience the journeys as something positive.
However, the freedom of movement should not be too extensive, as this has negative consequences for safety. Regardless of the size of the dog, you will need a little more space if you plan to transport the four-legged friend in a box. Basically, depending on the type of transport, a small trolley is therefore not always sufficient for a small dog.
Different types of cars can offer plenty of space for your dog. These include:
- Station wagons
- SUVs and off-road vehicles
You should decide individually which model is ultimately sufficient for your requirements and those of your dog. If you have little experience of driving with a dog, it may be a good idea to test drive the car with your four-legged friend. Alternatively, you could rent a similar model for a week and find out on several trips whether your dog feels comfortable.
Other criteria also play an important role in your decision. Depending on the model, larger cars may require a certain financial outlay. You must be able to afford this, depending on your individual life situation this is not always so easy.
For a timely financing is therefore in many cases a car loan a common way. To get a cheap loan for the car, you can use comparison portals. They offer you the appropriate options based on your individual possibilities. Basically, there are 4 different types of financing.
Often you can save amounts in the four-digit range. When considering the costs for your personal Dog-Mobil, you should bear in mind that the investment can pay off for you and your dog in the long run.
Mode of transport and securing
Once you have decided on the right car, the next step is to consider how you want to transport and secure your four-legged friend. More precise conditions for this are even legally regulated in paragraph 22 and paragraph 23 of the STVO.
If you do not secure your dog properly and according to the regulations and are stopped by the police, it is possible that you will have to pay a fine. In addition, you may want to take precautions to prevent your dog from being injured in an accident. For these reasons, regardless of which system you use, you should always make sure to secure it appropriately.
In addition, you should consider whether the dog is young or old when making your decision. Younger four-legged friends or puppies are often more agile and a bit wilder, depending on their individual character. Accordingly, they may need a different transport option than an older dog who finds it easier to lie still and come to terms with a situation such as a car journey, which he may have experienced many times before.
For the transport there are in principle different variants, above all count to it:
- Transport in the trunk with the help of grids and nets to separate them.
- Transport on the seats with belts and possibilities for buckling up
- Transport in boxes and bags
Each of these options has different advantages and disadvantages. Which one is best also depends on what kind of dog you own. For example, it may be difficult or impossible to transport a large dog in a bag.
Transport in the trunk
Grids and nets to separate the trunk have the advantage that the dog can have a lot of space in the same. However, in the best case you should secure him additionally with a belt or transport him in a box, which you also fix.
Especially for large dogs such a solution is ideal and often even necessary. The disadvantage can be, among other things, that the dog is separated from you during the journey and the direct contact is somewhat more complicated than with other options.
Another option is a special harness for the car that allows you to strap your dog in like a human. Additionally, for this type of restraint, you can resort to harnesses made specifically for dogs that allow you to do the same.
For small dogs, these variants are a good and viable option. The big advantage is that in this way the dog experiences the car ride together with you and is not separated from you, as is the case with a grid or net for the trunk. This way you can demonstrate to him on your trips that he is a full member of the family.
Boxes and bags
Other ways to transport your dog outside of the trunk include boxes and bags of various kinds. A box is best placed in the footwell, although this option is also more suitable for smaller four-legged friends.
You can also put your dog in a special bag that you place in the back seat and secure. A similar variant is the dog seat, in which the four-legged friend also sits in a kind of bag and looks out of the top instead of lying down. You should also secure it in the best possible way.
The car as a place of well-being for your dog
In addition to these basic factors of transport, you should make sure that the car is a place where your dog feels comfortable. Several factors are important for this, including
- individually suitable accommodation
- Cosiness through blankets or similar
- getting used to the accommodation, the car and the driving situation
- constant attentiveness to the well-being of the four-legged friend
Individually suitable accommodation and comfort
We have already given you an overview of the possible systems for transporting your dog. When making your choice, bear in mind that every animal is individual and may feel more comfortable with a different system than other dogs of the same breed.
Therefore, it can make sense to try out several options and not to commit yourself to a certain transport option from the beginning. In addition, you can make your four-legged friend comfortable in your car, for example with a blanket that he already knows from your home.
Familiarization and attentiveness for well-being
You should also give your dog the opportunity to slowly get used to the transport option and driving. For this purpose, you can, for example, first wear an appropriate harness outside the car or let him spend a little time in your living room in a box or bag for the car.
You can also walk short distances with him at first. This way, if he has no experience, he can slowly get used to the new feeling of driving before it becomes a daily routine and you take him on a holiday, for example.
Finally, you should always check that your dog is well during the journey. That way, if he is not, you can perhaps take a short break and try to find and solve the problem.
Overall, in addition to choosing a stroller that is spacious enough, you should make sure that safety is always your first priority. In the next step, you can find the most suitable transportation option for your dog that he feels most comfortable with. Finally, you should try to get your dog used to driving slowly and make the process as comfortable as possible for him.