How To Travel With A Husky By Car (12 Top Safety Tips)

As a husky owner, you will likely travel by car with them at some point. Whether that’s to the vets or a new hiking trail, it’s essential to know how to get there safely when the time comes.

Keeping your husky safe whilst traveling is all about preparation. Make sure you have a suitable travel crate, plan plenty of rest stops during the journey, and keep the car cool.

If you need more specific advice about traveling with a husky by car, then keep reading! We’ll cover 12 key tips for keeping your husky safe and happy when traveling in a car.

1. Use A Crate

Whilst traveling with a husky, your top priority should be to keep them secure.

A lot of people like to keep their dogs in the backseat next to somebody, but you should always secure your dog using a dog crate.

This provides them with a safe space where they will feel safe, but more importantly, it keeps them secure so you can focus on driving. Huskies are full of energy, and if they decide to jump into the front while you are driving it can be disastrous.

We recommend choosing a crate that can fit on the backseat and can be secured using a seatbelt or luggage straps. You’ll also want to choose one that allows for a good amount of air flow.

In emergencies only: You may find that in an emergency, such as traveling to the vet, you can’t obtain a crate fast enough to travel. In this case, travel with another person who can physically restrain the husky and ensure they are kept in the back seat to prevent them from jumping onto the driver. We recommend purchasing a suitable travel crate as soon as possible to avoid this situation.

2. Use The Air Conditioning To Keep The Car Cool

We recommend using the car’s air conditioning to keep the air temperature cool during the car journey. Huskies are made for the cold and can quickly overheat in the stuffy environment of a car, especially if they are anxious and panting rapidly.

You can also use a partially opened window during the journey if needed. If doing so, ensure there is no opportunity for your husky to get close to the window or try and escape through it.

Huskies are known as escape artists for a reason, so be careful if you decide to open a window.

3. Take Regular Breaks

As much as we like to believe that they do, huskies can not understand humans. If they need the toilet during the journey, we can’t simply tell them to hold it for another 30 minutes until you arrive.

It’s your responsibility to ensure your husky’s needs are met, so make sure to plan adequate comfort breaks. Take these breaks as an opportunity for your husky to drink water, have a toilet break, and stretch its legs.

Always be sure to stop in a place that is safe for your husky to leave the vehicle. Make sure they are kept on their leash and harness at all times to avoid them running into a dangerous situation.

4. Keep Your Husky’s Head In The Car At All Times

One thing we see all too often is dogs with their heads stuck out of the window during a car journey. The dog might enjoy the experience, but allowing them to do it puts them in danger of inhaling harmful particles and being hit by flying debris, passing branches, or even other vehicles.

Having cold air forced into their lungs at such high speeds also has the potential to make them very ill.

Not only that, but if the window is open wide enough for them to have their head stuck out, this means that they are not secure in their crate and could potentially try to escape through the window.

The reflection of a Siberian husky in a car

We must also state here that you should never travel with your husky in the back of an open pickup truck.

Sadly, thousands of large dog breeds die every year due to injuries caused by traveling in open pickup trucks. Whilst a large amount of space looks appealing, huskies can easily escape or fall out at high speeds or while traveling over bumps.

5. Don’t Allow Them To Eat For 2 Hours Before Traveling

We recommend avoiding feeding your husky for around 2 hours before traveling.

Some huskies (particularly puppies!) can be very travel sick whilst in the car, especially if they are not used to it. Giving them plenty of time to digest their food before setting off will reduce the chances of them being sick.

We also recommend avoiding treats are these are more likely to upset a dog’s stomach. Take some small training treats along for the ride, as these can help keep them distracted, but avoid filling them up on treats before setting off.

6. Prepare A Travel Box For Your Husky

If you travel by car frequently with your husky, prepare a small box of items that will make your journeys easier and can stay in the trunk of your car. Our recommendations are:

  • Any medications your husky requires
  • First aid kit for medical emergencies
  • A container of spare food and a travel food bowl
  • Pet waste bags
  • A towel
  • Wet wipes for any accidents that happen in the car
  • A spare leash and harness
  • Something with your scent (t-shirt, pillow, toy) for comfort
  • A copy of any travel documents needed (for crossing borders)

Some of these things may seem excessive but trust us – we’ve needed all of them at some point!

7. Make Sure Your Husky Is Easily Identifiable

Our final tip is one of the most important – make sure your husky is easily identifiable in the emergency that they are lost.

Your husky should be microchipped with all of the information stored up to date. They should also wear a tag on their collar that has their home address and your phone number. You may also want to write both their home address and destination address on the collar itself, just to be safe.

Some tags can also include a small message that says “I’m chipped”. This will alert anyone who finds your Husky to take them to the vet to have their chip read.

8. Exercise Before Your Journey

One of the best things you can do before traveling with your husky in a car is to tire them out beforehand.

There are many ways to do this, including taking them for a long walk or run, but you must tire them out before traveling.

If your husky is tired, they will be more likely to settle down in the car as they won’t have as much excess energy. We all know how energetic huskies are, and the last thing you want is for your husky to use this energy while stressing out in the car.

9. Do Test Runs

Before you take your husky for a long car journey, practice beforehand is highly recommended.

Prepare your car like you would for the long trip, and then take your husky for a 10 to 20-minute drive so they can get used to the new environment. If they are particularly nervous, you can start by simply letting them sit in the car while it is stationary.

Repeat this a few times, and make sure you constantly praise your husky if they show signs of being calm and relaxed to positively reinforce this kind of behavior.

If they are familiar with the car, they will be less stressed when the day comes for the long trip.

10. Bring Supplies For Cleaning Up Accidents

Even if your husky is used to the car, there might be situations where you can’t stop to let them get out to do their business.

It’s always worth packing some wipes and disinfectant spray in case they can’t hold it while in the car. I would also put puppy pads in the crate to create another barrier between the crate and your car.

11. Consider Their Position

Your husky should always be secured in a crate, ideally on the back seat, while traveling in a car.

If you have no choice but to put your husky in the front seat, turn off the airbags, as these can cause serious injury to dogs during a crash.

12. Don’t Leave Your Husky In The Car

We’ve all heard the nightmare stories of owners leaving their dogs in the car on a hot day.

This can be deadly, and even for short periods, it can cause serious organ damage.

Huskies are particularly susceptible to heat, so if you stop off during your trip, you must take your husky out of the car.

In Summary

Traveling with your husky for the first time doesn’t need to be a stressful experience.

Use this guide as a one-stop checklist for making the process easy. Remember to practice taking your husky in the car before a long journey and use the tips above to make it much more manageable for both you and your husky.

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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