On the road with your shih tzu

1 Mar

On a warm beautiful day, I love travelling with my shih tzu in the car around Toronto, taking in different views. Osi will be sticking his tongue out and wagging his tail, staring at every passing car on the road. Sometimes he’ll stand on his paws and lick the window on the side of the car or leave a mark with his nose.

Some of my best moments with Osi have been taking him to the beach, the park and downtown in the car because of the thrill he gets in seeing all the buildings and sites. However, travelling with your shih tzu in the car can be unpleasant if you don’t prepare.

Before travelling anywhere in the car with your dog, make sure to let him/her go to the washroom. The last thing you want is your shih tzu to paw on your arms when you’re in the middle of traffic or on the highway.

Another important tip is to have chew toys, water and treats packed beside you. The best place to put it is hidden at your waist close to the car door nearest you since your shih tzu may sniff and scratch at it. Osi can always sniff the bag the moment he’s settled into the car, so I always hide it where he can not get it.

During a long car trip, your dog may get nauseous. To avoid him/her vomiting in your car, you can pull over and walk him for a bit or turn on the air conditioning and point it towards him. When Osi gets car sick, I give him water to drink or chew toys to distract him. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it’s best to just stop the car and let him get some fresh air.

Though most dog owners let their pets do it, Priscilla Stockner, executive director of the center for Humane Education in California says owners should prevent dogs from sticking their heads out of the window because the wind can contain harmful particles and make their eyes dry and irritated. If you don’t want your shih tzu to miss all the outside action, you can open the window slightly to let your dog feel the wind on his forehead.

Travelling with your shih tzu can be a lot of fun if you make your pet comfortable. And the reward is having a friend next to you on the way home. After a long day at the beach with Osi, I’m usually wiped out and dreading the ride home, but with Osi, he keeps me company while listening to the radio.

More tips for travelling with your dog

  • Do not leave your dog inside the car during very hot days since your shih tzu can suffer from heat stroke in a short time
  • If your dog is anxious about getting into the car, let him sniff it first and get acquainted with it
  • Have your dog on a leash during the whole car ride to prevent any accidents

Source 1: Matthew Hoffman, Taking a Car Trip, Dogs the Ultimate Care Guide

Source 2: ASPCA, Car travel tips, http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/car-travel-tips.aspx

Source 3: Dog Tip: Partnership for Animal Welfare (PAW), Car Trips and Car Safety, http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_CarSafety.php

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