When we catch a glimpse of a happy dog riding in a car, with his head up, catching the wind in his mouth, ears flapping about, it makes us happy, too! So what is it about car rides that brings dogs so much joy? Other than the most likely explanation, which is he gets to spend time with you, we’ve come up with some other reasons why our furry friends love a good car ride.
Dogs are into adventure
Of course this doesn’t apply to every dog, but most are very curious and adventure-seeking. A car ride is the best type of adventure, with its unpredictability, a longer time out with a pet parent than the average daily walk, and so many opportunities for seeing new and exciting things.
New smells are everywhere
Dogs love to smell, and their sniffers are 10,000 times stronger than ours. So, when the window is open in the car and the worldly smells are flowing in, dogs must be thrilled to experience all these new scents as compared to the everyday smells from their own backyards.
Something exciting to see around every turn
We know dogs are easily stimulated by what they see around them. When riding in the car, there are endless things to see, such as new people, places and even dogs passing by in the next car. Best of all, dogs can look out the window during the whole trip to take in all these new sights along the way.
Everyone is close by and stays put
In the car, the whole “pack” stays together. When dogs can see, smell and be close to everyone around them, it provides a sense of going on an adventure as a pack, just like the dogs in the wild. So a dog gets all the stimulation of new sights and smells, while his family accompanies him on the trip!
Hunting instincts may kick-in
It has been theorized that a car in motion, bumps in the road and sharp turns around the corners may trigger a dog’s sensations, similar to those of moving together in a pack for hunting. And with everything moving so quickly outside the car windows, your dog may get the feeling of wanting to give chase, which is so exciting to him!
Don’t forget that safety is top priority during car rides. Although it is commonplace to see a dog’s head and paws out the window while riding, the safest way to travel is for him to be contained or restrained, with his full body inside the vehicle. Not that this should stop him from enjoying car rides with you - he’s still free to take-in all the sights, sniffs and excitement of these new adventures while being safe and happy.
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