I'm a dog trainer – how to help your pooch get more used to travelling in the car and what to do if they get sick | The Sun

A DOG expert has revealed how to turn your pooch into the ultimate road trip buddy. 

Adam Spivey, an experienced dog trainer, said some dedication to the cause will make your dog the perfect passenger.

Among his tips were to keep a calm attitude, transport your four-legged friend safely and make sure you stop regularly for toilet breaks.

New research from Auto Trader found that chihuahuas are some of the best companions on the road, second only to labradors. 

Golden retrievers were a close third, followed by malteses, French bulldogs and poodles. 

Spivey’s number one tip was to make sure your pooch is calm before hopping into the car.

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He explained: “One thing I always do is make sure the dog is calm before it gets in the car. 

“The car can represent excitement to a dog, which can get them worked up, leading to barking, whining and other stressful behaviours. 

“That is usually because in the dog's brain, the destination always results in something fun.”

He said have your dog sitting by your side when you open the car door and ensure they don’t hop in until invited to do so. 

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Spivey added that the safest way for a pooch to travel is in an impact crate.

If they’re calm and safe, they’ll be a joy to drive with.

It’s also important that they are exercised and have worked off any pent-up energy before the car journey.

Spivey explained: “For long journeys, frequent stops are recommended.

“But it is also essential to exercise the dog as much as possible before the journey to help them exert some excitement. 

“A tired dog is much more likely to sleep and switch off. 

“Your dog should be travelling in an impact crate, as it is the safest way to travel with a dog.” 

He noted that dogs that “aren't suitably restrained” in a car will be moving around and looking out of the window.

This can make them overwhelmed and stimulated, which doesn’t make for a calm or safe journey. 

Spivey said that “the crate not only ensures safety but also helps them to relax”.

Taking regular toilet breaks is particularly important for puppies working on their bladder control. 

For older dogs, he recommends toilet breaks every couple of hours.

You can also offset the likelihood of your pooch getting sick in the car by not feeding them too soon before the journey and speaking to a vet about motion sickness treatment.

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Spivey suggested building up journey times with your dog for them to get used to the feeling of being in the car.

If they do get sick, your car needs to be deep cleaned and your dog given a break from long journeys.

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