Commuting With Your Dog? Here's What You Should Know
How to Travel With a Dog
Do you know how to travel with a dog? Commuting can be a “ruff” few hours out of your day but having your pup along for the ride can make that time far better!
If you commute with your dog (or you are considering it), it certainly makes the trip more worthwhile, but it can seem like quite a daunting task if you have not put some thought and planning into it.
We’ve put together some info, tips and tricks on how to travel with a dog. They should help make the trip easier and more fun, for both you and your pup!
1. Choose the Right Form of Transport
If you ride your bicycle to work and you are considering commuting with your Great Dane, you may need to rethink your transport options.
Here are some of the most common transport options and how you can get around taking your dog along:
- If you need to pay an extra fee for your dog.
- If there is a size restriction.
- The rules for bringing a dog, including if they should be in a carrier.
It’s a good idea to keep your dog leashed even if they are in a carrier, so that they cannot give you the slip. Keep them on the floor, unless the bus or train is empty and there is a free seat. If your dog is anxious around people or prone to biting strangers, it may be best to find an alternate form of transport.
If you ride a bike or scooter, you can still take your pooch along with you. Smaller dogs can be put in a doggy backpack and should be safe, as long as you make sure to protect their eyes from wind and dust.
Larger dogs can ride in a buggy. This is a little dog carrier that you attach to your bike and pull behind you. Make sure your dog is safe inside and cannot leap out as you are going. You can also get a walking harness to attach to a bike, but these are only suitable for rather short distances.
When commuting with your dog, a private vehicle is first prize. You can make your dog totally comfortable with their own bed, toys and space. There are no size restrictions, rules, or fears about how your dog might handle strangers.
2. Bathroom Breaks
If your commute is a short one, then there will not be much need to consider things like bathroom breaks. If, however, your journey takes an hour or more, it is important that you take your pup for a bathroom break right before heading off on your commute.
Train or bus changes also present an opportunity for a quick pit stop. Remember, your pup cannot tell you when they need to go, so it is best to make sure they are as dry as possible before setting off.
3. Keep an Eye On the Weather
Heat can quite literally be a killer for our fluffs. If you are traveling in an air-conditioned car, there should not be any problem as long as you are not going to be leaving your dog alone in it. But if your dog sits in a scooter/bicycle buggy, or on a hot bus, it may be a better idea leaving them at home on extremely warm days.
Remember, they are carrying a fur coat around with them everywhere. Pups are at more risk of overheating than we are, and your commute can increase the danger of them suffering heat stroke.
4. Select a ‘Commuting Toy’
If your dog is a nervous traveler but you cannot leave them at home, taking along their favorite comfort toy could help.
It could actually be a good idea to make one of their toys a “commuting only” toy. That way, they will start to learn that when you bring out the commuting toy, they need to prepare themselves for a trip.
5. Ease Your Pup Into It
If this is new to your pup; practice runs are a great way to ease them in. Take short car trips to visit friends, a bicycle or scooter ride around the block every other day, or get them used to the bus or train by taking one-stop trips until they are used to it. Don’t do these half-heartedly, though. Act like it is the real deal so your pup gets used to the motion and action.
Knowing how to travel with a dog does not have to be a stressful experience for either of you. Some simple planning on your part can make every journey fun and relaxed for both of you.
Just remember – safety first and be sure to take some treats along and extra water to keep your pooch comfy and happy on the ride.