Riding in the Car with Dogs
Going for a ride is a favorite canine activity. Teach your pug car manners so trips will be fun and safe. Car manners include waiting to get in the car until you give the okay, sitting politely in the seat, restrained by a doggie seat belt; riding in a crate without complaint; and not hanging the head out the window and barking at other dogs.
Teach your dog to wait at the car door until you give him the signal to jump in. This gives you time to get his crate arranged or set up his seat belt if necessary. Use the wait command that you learned in Chapter 17.
Yes, it's fun for dogs to hang their head out the window, tongue lolling, but they can be injured by flying debris. Your pug can still enjoy the breeze from a rolled-down window while he's seat-belted or crated.
Your dog should always be restrained in some manner in the car. A loose dog can distract you or be thrown through the windshield in the event of a sudden stop or accident. You can get him a doggie seat belt or confine him to his crate.
Have a leash available when you arrive at your destination. Tell your pug to wait, and snap on the leash before you let him out of the car.
To accustom your pug to riding in the car, take him on brief errands. Picking up the dry cleaning, going to the drive-through teller, and visiting the drive-through window at a fast-food restaurant are all great practice rides for your dog. (Don't let those big brown eyes talk you into sharing your burger with him.)
Dealing with Carsickness
Sometimes dogs get motion sickness, just as people do. Signs of carsickness are yawning, whining, drooling, and vomiting. To help your dog recover from a bout of carsickness, roll the window down to let in some fresh air. It can also help if the dog is able to see out the window. If your pug gets carsick in the crate, try restraining him with a doggie seat belt so he can sit up and see the view.
With behavioral modification, you can help your pug overcome carsickness and learn to love car rides. This can take several weeks and — like all dog training — requires patience and practice. Start by just sitting in the car with your dog. If he doesn't show any signs of carsickness just sitting in the car, praise him and give him a treat. Do this for several days.
If you try everything and your pug still gets carsick, your veterinarian can prescribe medication to help him ride comfortably. Give it about an hour before you leave the house, or as directed.
After your dog has gone for at least three days without being carsick in a motionless car, get in the car with him and start the engine. Don't go anywhere, just sit in the driveway for a few minutes. Again, praise and treat your dog if he's able to sit in the car without getting sick. Practice this for several days.
If he's doing well with the practice sessions, start the car and back down the driveway. Then drive back in. Continue praising and treating your dog for riding calmly without getting sick. Gradually increase the length of the rides until your pug no longer gets sick in the car.