The Shiba Inu is an adventurous breed. They have a lot of energy to spare and are good companions for your outdoor activities. But before you can go on epic trips with your dog, the first thing you should cover is how to drive and travel with a Shiba Inu.
Dogs are not used to car rides. The motion, sights, noise, bumps, and uncertainty of where they are going can cause them anxiety and stress. Now, you must prioritize your dog’s safety when traveling, not only for their well-being but also to stop them from distracting you.
Here are some car safety tips you need to know before you travel with your Shiba Inu.
How to safely drive with your Shiba Inu
For Shiba Inu puppies, the best way to secure them is in a travel crate or pet carrier.
We all know puppies can be cute troublemakers, always exploring their surroundings, and excited to sniff and see more. But these can be driving hazards as they can disturb the driver of the vehicle.
With a crate or a pet carrier, it keeps the Shiba puppy in one, secure spot. Make sure to provide them with a blanket for comfort.
For larger or adult dogs, a dog hammock is a better option.
A dog car hammock covers the entire back seat of your car. It is padded and provides a comfortable and secure nest for your Shiba during the ride. It loops over the front headrests and also acts as a barrier to keep your dog from jumping over to the front.
Since it occupies the back seat, it gives your Shiba room to stretch and lay down.
There are seatbelts or harnesses made specifically for dogs. Similar to human seatbelts, this prevents unfortunate situations during accidents.
It is best to belt your Shiba in the back seat where there is less space for them to bounce if anything were to happen.
A bathroom schedule
Just like humans who needs to take breaks during car trips, your Shiba Inu needs a few pitstop as well.
Adult dogs need a 15 to 30-minute break every 2 to 4 hours. This is for eating, drinking, bathroom time, or just stretching. Puppies and elderly dogs need more stops, suggested 15-minute breaks once every hour because they have less control over their bladders.
Water should be offered once every 2 hours.
Regular stops also destress your Shiba and give them a chance to recover from motion sickness.
A doggy travel bag
When you are traveling, what your dog needs might not be readily available in rest stop stores. So make sure you prepare everything before leaving. It is better to overpack than under pack and panic in the middle of nowhere.
The basics for your doggy travel bag are food, treats, toys, a bowl, water, diapers (if needed), and paper towels. You can add more depending on the needs of your dog.
Aside from physical products (mentioned above), training is also important. A well-trained Shiba will cause fewer distractions, making the car ride safer.
To start, get your Shiba used to getting in and out of the car and introduce the sounds of the doors, the engine, and the horn.
Once he’s fully used to that, go for a short ride and as your Shiba gets comfortable, increase the distance. Eventually, your dog will learn how to behave.
What to look out for
There are dogs, especially those who are used to it, that will find car rides exciting. But other dogs are anxious and panicky the whole time.
If you are unsure of how your Shiba might be feeling during the trip, here are some common signs to look out for.
There are excited barks but there are also barks that say stress and displeasure. If your Shiba’s bark is bordering between a whine and a cry, take a break and check up on them.
Excessive panting might be a sign of a warm car temperature or your Shiba being worked up. They might be sensitive to the car movement, the changing scene or overwhelmed with the smell. Their panting might be from being uncomfortable.
Yawning and excessive drooling
These are signs of stress, but also motion sickness.
Here are a few ways to help manage your dog’s car sickness:
- Limit your dog’s food and water a few hours before driving
- Destress them by taking them out in a 15-20 walk.
- Make sure they are comfortable.
- Open a window so the chilly wind can soothe them.