As a Husky owner, you are likely going to travel by car with them at some point. Whether that’s to the vets or a new hiking trail, it’s important to know how to get there safely when the time comes.
Keeping your Husky safe whilst travelling is all about preparation. Make sure you have a suitable travel crate, plan plenty of rest stops during the journey, and make sure the car is kept cool throughout the journey.
If you need more specific advice about how to travel with a Husky by car, then keep on reading! Below are our seven essential tips that have guided successful journeys for many of our reader’s Huskies.
1. Keep your Husky in a crate
Whilst travelling with a Husky your number one priority should be to keep them secure.
We all know by now that we humans need to wear a seatbelt whilst in the car to stay secure and protect us in the event of a crash. Dogs are no exception, and also need some form of safety restraint whilst travelling.
Clearly, you can’t put a seatbelt on a Husky so a sizeable dog crate is instead needed. Huskies are a relatively large breed but that’s no excuse! The crate only needs to be big enough for the Husky to lie down in, meaning it should easily be able to fit in either the trunk or rear seat of most cars.
For extra protection, secure the crate within the car using bungee cables to prevent it from sliding around. Make sure your Husky is comfortable by lining the base of the crate with a few towels and a toy to keep them occupied.
In emergencies only: You may find that in an emergency, such as travelling to the vets, you can’t obtain a crate fast enough to travel. In this case, travel with another person who can physically restrain the Husky and make sure 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
During the car journey, we recommend using the car’s air conditioning to keep the air temperature cool. 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.
If needed, you can also use a partially opened window during the journey. If doing so, make sure there is no opportunity for your Husky to get close to the window or to try and escape through it.
You should never leave your Husky alone in the car – the car’s internal temperature can rapidly rise and be fatal within minutes. If you must leave your car for longer than 5 minutes, bring your Husky with you or leave another person in the car with them to monitor the temperature and their behaviour. If you must leave for less than 5 minutes (for example to refuel), leave the car windows cracked open, keep your Husky within sight at all times, and be as fast as possible.
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 make sure 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 some 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.
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 as a result of injuries caused by travelling in open pickup trucks. Whilst the large amount of space does look appealing, Huskies can very easily escape, or fall out at high speeds or whilst travelling over bumps.
5. Don’t allow them to eat for 2 hours before travelling
We recommend trying to avoid feeding your Husky for around 2 hours before travelling.
Some Huskies (particularly puppies!) can be very travel sick whilst in the car, especially if they are not used to it. If you can give them plenty of time to digest their food before setting off, you 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.
We all know how annoying it can be to clean up dog vomit, so this is one tip we recommend sticking to!
6. Prepare a travel box for your Husky
If you travel by car frequently with your Husky, prepare a small box of items which 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 on the collar itself both their home address and their destination address, 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.
Travelling with your Husky for the first time doesn’t need to be a stressful experience. Follow our tips and monitor their behaviour to keep them both safe and happy.
If you have any questions, please contact us by leaving a comment below or emailing email@example.com.