Category Archives: Dog Training General

Everything you need to Know about your Dog and Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dogs

At our board and train facility in Northern Virginia, we always get a lot of questions around Thanksgiving. You may not naturally consider your family pet to be a major part of Thanksgiving as a holiday, but your dog can be a source of stress or setbacks if you don’t know how to take care of them during a busy holiday time. After all, there are a lot of things going on around this time, whether you are traveling away for the holidays or planning to host the dinner. Taking care of your dog in these situations is important.

Traveling Away
First off is the most obvious aspect of this situation: is your dog coming with you or staying at home? Regardless of the answer to that question, it’s important to make sure that their vaccinations and ID tags are up to date. You should also pack their food in clearly labeled and measured bags, have the vet records on your person, and ensure that your dog has access to a few of its favorite toys whether they are staying home or coming with you.

If your dog is coming with you, these are the specific things you should concern yourself with: make sure the arrangements you’ve made for your destination allows dogs, have a backup plan if they don’t, and make sure you pack bowls and a simple mat for your dog. Just in case, you should also learn the location of a few local vets in the place you’ll be flying to.

If your dog will be staying home during the holidays, especially if you’ll be boarding them, you’ll want to keep these things in mind. You need to make your reservations early, and drop your dog off at the boarding house several hours before closing time so they can acclimate to the environment. There could also be a pretty long check-in time, so you’ll want to get it handled with plenty of time available. A launder mat for your dog to use will probably be a good idea too.
If you’ll be using a pet sitter instead, check your references first, and try to go for an insured or bonded sitter. Make sure you book them early, and make sure they have contingency plans even as you do.

If you’ll be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner instead, there are some things you should keep in mind for that situation as well. You’ll need to prepare your dog for guests, including other dogs that may be brought to the party. Clearly, you’ll need to brush up one your dog’s manners, including obeying commands. You may also want to keep your dog on a leash if you know they are rowdy, and ask some safety questions. Is your dog comfortable with everyone who is coming, including their dogs if they come too? Always be on the lookout for stress signs during the gathering, and have a plan in case that happens. Of course, you should let your guests know that your dog will be there in the first place.

If you have guests that will be bringing a dog, let them know what rules you expect that dog to follow beforehand. Introduce the dogs outside of the home first, and keep in mind the potential for hostilities between two dogs, which are often triggered by infringement on food, toys, personal space and especially uneven affection.

The Holiday Feast
We all know that a big part of Thanksgiving is the food. But keep in mind that your dog wants it just as much as you do, if not more. You may need to consider your dog’s behavior during mealtime, and whether or not food should be shared with them.

As far as behavior is concerned, it’s all about the commands your dog knows how to obey. Whether you have them sit at your side during dinner or to some other out of the way spot within the house, both are good options. At Off Leash K9 Training, this is what we use the “place” command for. You may also want to consider teaching your dog to refrain from immediately eating anything dropped from the table, though that’s a whole different lesson in willpower. As you will see on our YouTube channel, we do food refusal training.

As for sharing food, remember that what is good for you is not necessarily good for your dog, even if your dog acts like it would be. Fatty foods, grapes, onions, sage, and many other Thanksgiving foods are very dangerous for your dog to consume, and of course, bones are an entirely bad idea. Even if you have a small dog and the bones seem big enough for them, don’t do it. Bones like that aren’t the same as the ones you might buy from Petco, and the dinner table bones are extremely vulnerable to cracking and splintering, which could lead to choking or other health hazards. If you are going to feed your dog, don’t let them see you procure the food itself: if they notice that it came from the table, they are likely to stick around or worse. If you want to feed them something healthy, stick to ice cubes and carrots at most, and when all is said and done, secure your trash cans so your dog doesn’t have a field day with your garbage. As long as you keep these things in mind, your family, including your dog, can have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

If you want your dog to be well trained for all of your holiday guests, contact us at Off Leash K9 Training!

Should I Spay or Neuter My Dog? Dog Trainers in Virginia

There has been a debate as to whether or not you should spay or neuter your dog. Many different groups have a variety of different feelings on this heavily debated topic, each for their own reasons. This can be a very personal decision and one of the most important ones that you can make as a dog owner. By seeing all of the arguments for and against this decision, you are able to make an informed decision that you feel comfortable with.

Breeders and people who show their dogs do not believe that people should wait until the dog is 1.5 years of age before getting this medical procedure. This is for appearance purposes. The breeders believe that the dogs need to keep these reproductive organs until they have developed fully. This is important if you want to show your dogs because they need to have developed and be filled out according to the standard. Obviously breeders do not spay or neuter their dogs so that they can breed and earn their living.

Pet rescue groups, shelters, and pet advocate groups are some of the biggest proponents of spaying and neutering your dogs. This is to help prevent unwanted litters as well as a way to promote responsible dog ownership. Shelters have an influx of dogs that they cannot even help and dogs are often put to sleep because they cannot be adopted. This is something is completely preventable. Some trainers are also for spaying and neutering dogs because they believe that this can help with small issues like the dogs’ ability to better socialize, especially at places like dog parks.

There are also groups that seem to be pretty equally divided on the topic. Veterinarians seem to go either way on the topic. Vets are for this because of it promoting responsible dog ownership. They also recommend against it for reasons such as future breeding and because of health risks associated with the procedures. Dog owners are also pretty equally divided on the topics. In addition to these other reasons, they sometimes do not agree with these procedures because they feel guilty about mutilating their dog in a way that takes away their reproductive organs. Some dog owners prefer not to handle their dogs when they are in heat, adding just another reason to do this.

As you can see, this topic is one that has caused a lot of debate. Whether you decide to spay or neuter your pet is a personal decision. This is one that will take a lot of consideration before you can make an informed decision. The decision to spay or neuter is a personal one. Your veterinarian can help provide you with all of the information to help you make the best decision possible. Remember that there seems to be no right or wrong answer officially and you really just need to consider the individual needs of your family. Dog owners just want their dogs to be happy and healthy and this is just one of many important decisions that you need to make.

If you have more questions about your dog or behavior issues, contact Off Leash K9 Training!

-Nick White

Why Does My Dog Eat Grass? Dog Expert in Northern Virginia!

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass

If you are a dog owner, chances are that you have noticed your dog munching on grass a number of times. This is generally nothing to be concerned over. Our dogs’ wild ancestors were scavengers; they would get vegetation if they couldn’t find any meat.

Owners often forget that our dogs are omnivores, and they can crave a variety of food choices. Even if their dog food is high quality, dogs can still have a desire to eat greens. It’s also possible for your dog to crave other green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. Here are some other common reasons why dogs may eat grass.

Upset Stomachs
Many dog owners have noted that their dogs will vomit after eating grass. So, they assume the grass made them sick. Vets generally will disagree with this. They believe dogs eat grass when their stomach is upset.

Researchers believe that when dogs have an upset stomach, they eat grass quickly. The grass tickles the dog’s stomach and causes them to quickly vomit. So, it is believed that dogs instinctually gobble down grass in order to make themselves vomit to relieve their stomach.

When your dog eats grass slowly, it is generally just a sign that your dog enjoys the taste of grass. Healthy dogs know to eat grass differently so they won’t vomit it back up.

Lack of Fiber
Although researchers aren’t positive yet, it’s believed that dogs will eat grass if their diet is lacking in enough fiber. If your dog frequently eats grass, it may be a sign that they need a higher quality dog food. If your budget can’t stretch, try adding raw and cooked greens to their diet. Cook the veggies in chicken stock to make them more appealing to your dog.

Unless your lawn has recently been treated with chemical fertilizers or herbicides, there is little reason to be concerned. Eating grass is a totally normal activity for your dog.

If you have any dog questions, contact us at

Nick White
Off Leash K9 Training

Is A Dog’s Mouth Cleaner Than A Person’s? Dog Trainers in Northern Virginia

Dog Training Northern Virginia

We all have heard the saying that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth. While it’s a common saying, it is simply untrue. There are a few reasons that this myth has floated around for so long.

At one time, studies were showing that human bites became infected at a faster rate than dog bites. Modern researchers have proven that this is not true. All bites, human and animals, have the same infection rates.

Dogs lick their wounds; some people believed that this meant their mouth had some sort of healing property. This is untrue as well. There are no antiseptic or healing properties in their saliva. The reason a dog licks their wound is to remove any dead tissue; this makes the healing process faster.

If you own a dog, you understand that dogs lick everything. They use their tongues as toilet paper as well as a bath. It’s pointless for scientists to compare the bacteria in a dog’s mouth to a human’s mouth. The strains of bacteria each mouth will have is totally different. There would be no way to accurately compare the two.
The Good News

There is bacteria in dogs’ mouths; they can have dental problems. There are tons of products in stores today to reduce dental problems for dogs such as dog toothbrushes. This is a good practice for preventative maintenance.

The chances of getting sick from dog saliva is very slim. Dogs and humans have different bacteria; chances are slim that one will transmitted that can make a human ill. There is a larger chance of getting sick from kissing another human than a dog.

If you want more information about your dog, behavior, or training: contact Off Leash K9 Training!

-Nick White
Off Leash K9 Training

Why Dogs Do A Play Bow: Dog Trainers in Northern Virginia

play-bow Northern Virginia

There are a lot of unique behaviors that dogs have that can be difficult for us humans to understand. They do things that you may find disgusting, which are actually completely normal to them. Dogs have no actual language that people can tell so they do heavily rely on their body language to help them get the point across. This is why they bark and paw at you when they want something and why they do the “play bow”. Dogs rely on these cues to help them to communicate with humans and other dogs; therefore it can be helpful to understand just what these motions mean.

The play bow is an invitation from one to another that “I am ready to play, so play with me?” This also lets the other dog know that even though they make act in a way that can be construed as aggressive, they are really just playing and do not have cruel intentions. This is important for humans to observe as well, so that they know the intentions of their dog. Dos are playful creatures and they love to play with pretty much anyone who is willing to play with them.

No matter what they are feeling, dogs need to move. They love to play. In fact, play is crucial to pets because it is what helps a dog with their cognitive development as well as their emotional resiliency. Dogs that are playful are believed to have a higher capacity for adaptability, though this is not a capacity in the cognitive area. There is a lot more to the play bow that you may not know about and there is a bit of a darker side to this adorable pose.

The play bow is believed to have some negative consequences. A dog that asks to play is not being a dominant dog. By going into this position to invitation pose, the dog is putting them in a position that is disadvantageous to the dog. This means that the dogs are really seeking out negative neurochemicals in the brain that causes bad emotions. This can be confusing because why would dogs that love to play and be happy, do something that would give them negative emotions? The only real plausible reasoning for this is that these negative emotions actually feel pleasurable to the dog, which is why they continue to do this behavior. They may actually be taking in the emotional momentum of its playmate.
Dogs may seem like simple creatures that you can just rub their belly and feed them to make them happy. Dogs actually have complex emotions and thought processes that humans just do not fully understand. Their behaviors are actually quite fascinating and are constantly being studies. Even something as seemingly simple as a play bow is actually something far more complex. It is always good to keep an eye out for these behaviors to make sure your dogs are behaving in an appropriate manner so that you can correct them as soon as possible.

If you feel that your dog has an aggression issue in Northern Virginia, contact Off Leash K9 Training!

-Nick White
Off Leash K9 Training

Dog Behavior Training in Northern Virginia: Are Dogs Like People?

Northern Virginia Dog Behavior


Roger Caras, the famous photographer and writer once said that “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole,” and nothing can be truer than that. They share our lives and have become such an integral part that life without them seems colorless.

Dogs smell you even when you’re yards away from them and cannot see you and it’s a wonderful welcome that you get when you enter your house—jumping on you and licking you as if they haven’t seen you for ages. They give unconditional love and that’s why they’re treated as part of the family.

That being so, is it really surprising that studies suggest that man’s best friend- the dog acts more like human beings do? Researchers in Japan believed that the hormone oxytocin (that triggers maternal caring) is also produced in dog owners and in dogs when pets gazed into their eyes; making such amazing bonding possible.

These animals are by nature very affectionate and they have a natural instinct to bond. In fact they love to be petted and caressed just the way all human beings want to be– at least deep down. During the course of their evolution from wolves to becoming pets, dogs have acquired many human-like- traits. To substantiate that, it has been found that dogs reciprocate human emotions and exhibit anger, happiness and guilt just like human beings do.

When dogs do something that they ought not to have done and they’re caught doing it, they act guilty—they just slink away with the tail in between their legs, droop their ears and sit under  a chair or table, looking at you apologetically. They can even recognize when you’re angry with them and are quick to note the difference in voice, tone and body language of the owner.

Researchers led by Kazuo Fujita, a professor of comparative cognition at Kyoto University, showed that that dogs snub people that are mean to their owners and will even refuse food offered by such people. He proved his point by actually demonstrating how dogs made “social and emotional evaluations of people when it came to their owners.

In role plays where dog owners needed to either open a box or retrieve some tape from a container, dogs accepted treats from people who helped their owners in the job and refused food from those that didn’t help their owners. Neutral persons that remained in the room were preferred over the non-helpers. Dogs instinctively distinguished between friends and foes of their owners and reacted accordingly.

Jealousy, a trait normally associated with human beings can actually relate to dogs as well. Dogs like attention and if they see their owners being attentive to someone else or another dog, they try to come in-between.

Christine Harris, one of the researchers at the University of California at San Diego’s, noted that even “animals display strong distress whenever a rival usurps a loved one’s affection.”

Pet experts say that dogs too are grief-stricken at the loss of a favorite person and mourn in their own way when they are separated from their owners for long periods of time. They tend to sleep more, eat less and don’t play as much. They also experience fear like human beings, sadness, and anger and are extremely possessive, just like human beings are.

If you stopped in the middle of a road and looked upwards, you’ll find that many people too will stop and also look up to see what you’re looking at—the same holds true with dogs, especially if they’re in a room with a door. If the owner looks that way, an untrained dog looks at the owner and then at the door, wondering what the owner is looking at. Such behavior is often seen only in humans and chimps, perhaps. A trained dog looks more at the owner’s face rather than at the door because they are trained to retain eye contact with the owner.

Research has shown that with age, short-term memory and logical reasoning skills decline in human beings—dogs too apparently experience the same decline.

Josh Billings said, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself,” and even that’s an understatement– there’s really nothing more human and more lovable than a dog. It’s not man’s best friend for nothing. Sometimes it’s more human than even humans.

Do you want more information and training on your dog’s behavior?

Contact Off Leash K9 Training at: or 888-413-0896 or

Do Dogs Have Emotions Like People? Dog Behavior Training in Northern Virginia

Dog Behavior Training in Northern Virginia

After training a few dogs and scanning them, scientists end result was that dogs too are people! It is just that because dogs can’t talk, scientists have depended on their behavioral interpretationsand come to a conclusion as to what dogs are thinking.  It is indeed a tricky job. You can’t question a dog as to why he did something and you surely can’t ask him how he feels about what he did .The prospect of delving into an animal’s emotions has scared the scientist, because animal research has been a difficult task. It has been only normal to keep aside the questions of animal emotions because the answers are not easy.

By looking into their brains directly and surpassing the behavioral observation, an M.R.I scan informs us about the dogs’inner state. M.R.I.s are done in very noisy and confined areas. People don’t like them as they need to hold still during the process. The normal veterinary procedure would be to put the animal under anesthesia to avoid movement from the animal. But when an animal is anesthetized it makes it difficult to study the functioning of the brain. At least the emotions.

Now to do this scan they had the consent of the owner of the dog and a form filled and signed by him. It was agreed upon that the participation was voluntary and the dog could quit if necessary.  The dog if necessary could leave the M. R. I. scanner similar to a human volunteer.

The dog was taught to walk the steps and follow up that into a tube and rest the head in a custom made chin rest, and also stay still for thirty seconds, and yes it had to learn to put on earmuffs to shield the sensitive hearing from the noise the scanners make.

Months of training on a trial and error basis including at the actual M.R.I scanner, they were handsomely gifted with the mapping of the dog’s brain activity. The first tests were measured with the two hand signals caught on the scanner

In the experiments conducted later they were able to distinguish the odor of familiar and unfamiliar dogs and human beings.  Soon the community for local dogs here got to know of our tests that were conducted on what the dogs were thinking, and in a short span of a year there were a dozen M.R.I certified dogs.

Even though scientists were beginning to answer a few basic questions about a dog’s brain, they can’t ignore the resemblance of the dog’s brain to that of a human’s, especially in the areas of key brains functions.

Abundant in dopamine receptors caudate is placed between the brainstem and cortex. In humans the caudate plays an important role in recognizing the things we enjoy like money, food and love. But can we change this connection around by measuring the caudate actions. This is usually not possible because of the complex working nature of the brain. It is a known fact that the brain is well connected and it’s not possible to nail down one single function or emotion to one particular brain region.

But the caudate could be an exception. Certain parts of the caudate stand apart for their consistent recognition of the things that humans enjoy. Caudate is so active that under the circumstances it can single out our preference for food, beauty and even music.

Among dogs we found that the response in the caudate increased to the response of the hand signal, prompting food. The caudate also responded to the odor of familiar humans.

Are these test proving that dogs love us? Not true, but the same reasons that activate the human caudate which are linked to positive feelings are also activated in a dog caudate. Neuroscientists have termed this functional homology, and this could be an indication of dogs’ emotions.

The capability of experiencing positive emotions, like attachment and love, means that dogs do have a level of sentiments compared to a child. This is something we need to think as to how we treat dogs.

Dogs for long have been treated as property. Even though in 1966 the animal’s welfare act and the laws of the state have questioned the treatment for animals they are of view that they are things- objects which could be disposed of, only when reasonable care is given to control their suffering.

After these test and M.R.I scans we can no longer shy away from the fact that dogs and many other animals have emotions similar to humans and to consider them as property may not be in their better interests.

An alternative to this may be may be to consider partial personhood to animals that display neurobiological proof of emotions. Various animal rescue groups have coined the word ‘guardian’ for animal caregivers thereby making it obligatory for the human to take up the responsibility of caring for his ward.

If we go further and grant them personhood, they will be given additional protection from exploitation. Dogs for racing and puppy mills will be banned for violating their basic rights by exploitation.

It is presumed that our society is years behind in considering dogs as a persons. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has opened the doors for such possibilities after the neuroscientific findings.

In couple of cases the court has ruled that the juvenile offenders should not be given a life sentence if there is no possibility of granting parole. Apart from the rulings the court gave brain mapping evidence that brain is not mature enough when in the adolescent stage.

If you are interested in learning more about your dog’s behavior, body language, or training; contact us at Off Leash K9 Training!

Nick White
Off Leash K9 Training

Is It Better To Get A Puppy Or An Older Dog?

Should I get a puppy or adult dog?

At our dog training classes in Northern Virginia, we get asked this question all of the time!

Once you’ve made the decision to get a family pet, a dog, there is still one choice remaining. Are you willing to put up with the necessary training in order to break in a brand new puppy or would you much rather deal with an adult dog? There are several deciding factors that can help you decide whether or not a puppy or an older dog is the perfect fit for your family dynamic.

First, consider the dedication and work that is required by a newborn puppy. You will have to train them to use the bathroom outside, not to steal food from the table, not to bark at every passing car or person who may come to knock at your door, not to chew shoes or furniture and many more. This kind of dedicated training will definitely take up a lot of time and energy in the first few months that you bring the puppy home. Not to mention, this entire process will require lots of patience, puppies are prone to in the home accidents and regardless of the rigor and strength of any training program, at first it will be trial and error as they adjust to living in a new space.

Now, most people want a puppy for the obvious reasons, they are cute, cuddly and loving but most new puppy owners fail to realize that soon the cute and cuddly can turn into big and somewhat of a headache, if not properly trained in obedience, house behavior and given adequate food and exercise. This is the reason why when you visit a shelter, you see many puppies that are within the twelve to eighteen-months age range. These are the types of puppies who were purchased just for their cute and cuddly nature and then never trained, therefore leaving their faulty owners with the only option to leave them with a shelter in the hopes that someone will come along to train them properly.

If your heart is set on a puppy, just make sure you have the time and energy to give it the proper training it needs and you and your puppy will soon become best of friends.

One reason that an older dog is a great addition to a home is that older dogs can coexist in homes with a variance in activity level. Since they aren’t puppies anymore, senior dogs require less activity and are therefore easier to manage and take care of. However, if they have a bad habit, it may take more time to break than a puppy. Still, if you end up adding an older dog to your family, go through an obedience program with the dog to ensure a bond between man and dog. This makes sure that the dog understands its role as a member of the family.

In the end, there is no strict deciding factor that determines which type of dog is best for which type of family. If you have the time and energy for a puppy, go for it. If an older, more laid back kind of dog is what you desire, look for a more adult/older pet.

If you have anymore questions about training, please contact us at Off Leash K9 Training!

Reach us at: or 888-413-0896 or

Nick White
Off Leash K9 Training

Do Dogs Have Emotions? Emotional Dogs in Virginia

Dogs Feel Emotion Northern Virginia

At our dog training business in Northern Virginia, we always get asked about dogs’ emotions.

Dog owners everywhere have been asking this question for years when looking at their furry friend: “What is he thinking about?”

Recently, two studies have shown that a concrete answer to that question may be possible.

A study conducted by the director of the Emory Center for Neuropolicy, Gregory S. Berns, may be able to provide tangible evidence regarding what a dog is feeling. After hearing the incredible story of the Navy dog that assisted in taking down Osama bin Laden, Berns was moved to see what was happening inside the canine mind. The dog was trained to not only endure rough conditions, but to enjoy working in them.

Berns chose fMRI to be the tool he used to look into the minds of dogs and see what they were thinking. With a dog trainer and an assistant by his side, Berns spent a year preparing the dogs to withstand the fMRI machine.

fMRI machines are fairly loud, so the dogs were trained to wear ear plugs during the procedure and to ensure the dogs remained safe in the machine, he also trained them to lie perfectly still as the scan was done. If the dogs were not still, the image would be ruined.

Berns’ study was successful and he was able to capture images of the dogs’ brains. When the dogs were shown a hand signal indicating they would get a treat, the reward center of their brains were activated and lit up on the image. That was not a surprise to Berns. However, he also discovered that dogs’ brains are considerably more responsive when the signal came from a human, and not an inanimate object.

Using the fMRI to map a dog’s brain will be able to answer the question of whether dogs can feel empathy or not in the future.

Across the pond, Deborah Custance and Jennifer Mayer, researchers out of London’s Goldsmiths College, began their journey to figure out if dogs are able to feel empathy – the ability to share and understand another’s emotions.

Custance mentioned that she has talked to a number of people who claim that their dogs try to comfort them in their times of need. Her own dog, Custance continues, has never offered her comfort. Even with her own dog not expressing these characteristics, Custance wanted to study whether or not dogs were truly able to care about their owners in the way we think they do.

To conduct their research, Mayer and Custance put together a group of largely untrained dogs. The group was mostly mixed breeds and contained an equally number of male and female pets. A scenario was set up where a stranger to the dog and the dog’s owner would alternately cry, hum in an unusual way, or talk. The dogs’ reactions were observed.

15 of the 18 dogs that participated in the study, sought out whichever person was showing signs of distress; it did not matter if the person was a stranger or not. Custance said it seemed as though the dogs were capable of showing empathy because they did not go to their owners to be comforted themselves. However, the study does raise more questions: Do dogs respond to anger or pleasure the same way they responded to distress? If children were included in the study, would the dogs react differently?

Dog lovers everywhere are rejoicing at the results of this study, because, to them, it proves they are more to their dog than the just hand that feeds them. Mayer and Custance have made it clear that there is still more research to be conducted and they aren’t surprised at the public’s reaction. They know that dog owners want to believe this data. However, Custance knows that dogs still have a positive effect on people’s lives.

The question: “Wonder what is he thinking about?” may be answered sooner than you think.

Are you interested in learning more about your dog’s behavior or training? If so, contact us at or

-Nick White
Off Leash K9 Training

What Are Some Tips For Traveling With Your Dog?

Traveling With Your Dog
Traveling is already a stressful endeavor. Traveling with a dog becomes even more stressful. If you aren’t well prepared, traveling with a dog can become dangerous.

Designating and securing a spot for the dog in the back of the car is a must. Leaving a dog loose is a first worst mistake when traveling with a dog. A startled dog that is distracted by something outside the car or something else, could lead to the possibility of of the dog landing in your lap and possibility distracting you from your driving, placing all the occupants of the car in extreme danger. Also, a second good reason for securing your dog in the back of the car is that if in the case of an accident, having the dog secured will greatly increase chance of survival and prevention from death.

Also, traveling with a kit full of the dogs’ necessary medicines as well as a copy of their medical records is another necessary precautionary measure. If in the case of needing to use them, they will be right at your fingertips instead of possibly being a world away at home where they won’t be of much use to you or the dog.

Obviously, you pack for a trip. But also to remember to pack for the trip for your dog. This is probably one of the most important tips for when traveling with a dog. Be sure to include a food and a water bowl as well as enough dog food to adequately last the duration of the trip. This is especially important for dog owners whose dogs eat a special kind of food that may not be available at the place of your trip destination.

If you decide to travel during the warm weather months, make sure to pack plenty of bottle water to soothe the thirst of your dog. Packing extra water if planning, say a beach trip, is important in order to combat potential car breakdowns or traffic delays.

Another thing to consider, especially in trips that occur during hot weather is to allow for enough hair circulation within the car for the dog. This can be achieved by leaving windows in the back of the car open enough to allow such fresh air to enter. In tune with this, make sure that none of those open windows are open wide enough to tempt a dog to jump out of them.

Once you’ve made sure the dog is properly fed, given enough water and fresh air remember that like children, dogs will get extremely bored on long road trips. Include a favorite chew toy, bone or treat to distract the dog for a few hours during the trip. This will give him something fun to do and will also provide some comfort on the journey.

As much as possible, stop for breaks to allow the dog to comfortably stretch and walk around. This might require a leash, so don’t leave that necessary item at home. Also, giving your dog enough room in the backseat to move around a bit will ease the toll of the journey on the dog. Just like you prepare for your own trip, make sure you also prepare for your dogs’ trip, it will make the whole experience a better one.

If you have anymore questions about traveling with your dog, contact us at Off Leash K9 Training at or

Nick White
Off Leash K9 Training