Dear Miss Behavin’: Our new dog, Spanky, loves going places with us, and we love taking him. The problem is he’s so excited in the car that he can’t sit still. He hops from seat to seat and tries to lick our faces. How do we contain his excitement on the road?
Reply: You are not alone in enjoying your canine copilot. Fortunately, that means there are lots of options for keeping Spanky safe in the car. If Spanky is crate trained, an easy way to keep him in place in the car is to have him ride in his crate. This works best if he fits into a small crate which can fit on the back seat, or if you have a hatchback that can fit a crate in the back. Make sure that the crate is secure so it can’t slide around as you drive.
If Spanky isn’t one for confinement, try a back seat barrier, which attaches to your two front seats and blocks his access to the driver/passenger area. This leaves him free to move around while keeping him out of your space, which can be a dangerous distraction. Another option is a seatbelt-style harness. There are many styles of this type of harness, which is designed to easily click into the seat belt buckle. Find the most comfortable and secure type for Spanky by taking him to the pet store to try on a few.
Whichever method you choose, pair it with a frozen Kong or other chew to keep Spanky occupied and happy during your next trip.
Sara Werning is an Assistant for the Behavior & Training Department at Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA. For more information, call 650-340-7022 ext. 316 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Critter corner: Keeping Spanky safe in the car