Travelling with a Golden Retriever

david - Posted on 02 December 2010

Taking your golden retriever with you when you travel is not always an option, as for example when you fly on a quick business trip. However, in many cases, you can bring your pooch along with you when you hit the road, especially when you are going on vacation.

You can start preparing a golden retriever puppy to be a good traveling companion at a fairly early age – once they are housetrained, you can start accustoming them to your car or van, as well. The important thing at the start of this process is to make the trips short and pleasant. If you only take your pup out when you’re taking them to the vet, then they are going to quickly come to associate the car with unpleasant stuff happening, and will run for it whenever they see you trying to get them to the car.

It makes things a lot smoother generally if you “socialize” them to your auto. Remember that a pup is enthusiastic, but gets tired and bored quickly. Make your first trips very short – a drive around the block, or down the road to a turnaround. The important thing is that nothing unpleasant happens during the trip.

Once the pup is used to this, you can start taking them out on longer drives once or twice a week – it doesn’t need to be daily, unless, of course, you are one of those people who goes to the local grocery store and picks up a handful of groceries every day, instead of buying a week’s supply and only taking another trip if you forgot something.

You can take your pup with you on short errands – although you need to be careful. If the weather is warm or hot, never take your dog if you would need to leave them alone in the car for more than 10 minutes. Heat stroke can seriously injure or kill an animal left in a car in the sun within a very short amount of time, and this is considered a form of illegal cruelty as well. However, a run to the bank or the Post Office is fine – just remember to leave a window cracked, not far enough for the pup to squeeze their head into it, get stuck, and hurt themselves.

Soon, your golden retriever will look on going in the car as one of the ways you interact with them in a companionable way, and the groundwork will be laid for when you want to hit the road with them later in their lives.