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Traveling in the Car with your Frenchie

Time for a Road Trip!

Your Frenchie is bound to go for a car ride sooner or later.

It’s inevitable.

Some Frenchies love car rides – but others absolutely despise it.

Either way, there’s a few things you’ll need to know to keep your Frenchie safe and sound on car rides.

7 Steps for Safe Car Travels

1. Frenchie Road Trip Checklist

You can’t just grab your Frenchie and hit the road… There are some things you’re absolutely going to need for your road trip.

Be prepared for a long trip in the car… you never know how long it’ll be with traffic and everything!

These are really just the essentials like food, water, leash, harness, car seat, and a first-aid kit.

Whatever your Frenchie needs on a daily basis, you definitely should bring.

A car seat

I know, I know. You think your Frenchie is fine sitting in your lap for car rides.

Sure, you might be able to get away with this on short rides around town, however, I highly suggest getting your Frenchie a carrier for the car if you plan on bringing them on rides often.

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03/27/2024 11:46 pm GMT
What to look for

For our Frenchies, we don’t want just any car seat. We want the safest, most comfortable carrier!

  • Strap to secure them with the seatbelt
  • Comfy and doesn’t irritate skin
  • Proper size
  • Supports your Frenchie’s weight
  • High-quality materials that are machine washable (longevity)

You’ll also need a good leash/harness

Trying to find the right food for your Frenchie? Be sure to check out our full list of recommended Frenchie foods

2. Before the trip

Be sure to feed your Frenchie a few (3-4) hours before the road trip. Feeding them too close to leaving can make them sick to their stomach.

My favorite tip, whether traveling by car or plane, is to go for a super long walk before the trip.

This way they’ll be too tuckered out to be anxious and/or restless. Usually my dog is so tired she’ll just sleep the entire trip.

3. Plan ahead for pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, etc.

Believe it or not, our Frenchies aren’t welcome everywhere as you’d like to think –many restaurants, malls, and other public places are not dog-friendly.

Use websites such as Yelp and PetsWelcome to find pet-friendly places to eat and hotels.

4. Make them comfortable

First things first: make sure their travel carrier is nice and comfy. You can add soft blankets or towels for extra padding, just make sure they don’t get overheated!

If you plan on going for a long ride (>1-2 hours), be sure to go for a few shorter rides to let your Frenchie acclimate to being in the car. Once they’re used to car rides this isn’t really necessary.

Give them a chew toy, bully stick or other bone to keep them busy. I find it also helps my Frenchie stay calm when she has something to gnaw on.

5. Take regular breaks

Once you’re on the road, you’ll want to take breaks every 1.5-2 hours or so.

Even if you can keep on driving, your Frenchie probably needs to stretch their legs. Oh yeah, they’ll probably need to take a bathroom break as well.

6. Drive nicely!

Not saying you aren’t a nice driver… just be extra-careful when driving with your Frenchie!

Smooth Driving Tips

  • Use cruise-control on the highway
  • Avoid sudden acceleration and braking
  • Keep your following distance more-than-usual for extra braking time

7. Watch for signs of car sickness

As you’re driving, keep an eye on your Frenchie for these signs of motion sickness.

5 Signs of Car Sickness

  1. Drooling
  2. Excessive lip licking
  3. Dry heaving
  4. Shaking
  5. Whining

If you notice any of these signs, be sure to safely pull over ASAP. The more you drive, the worse their nausea will get.

Frequently Asked Questions

How hot is too hot in the car?

It’s important to note that French Bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed, meaning flat-faced, which makes it much harder for them to properly regulate their body temperature.

With this being said, you’ll want to keep your car’s internal temperature well below 85° F to avoid heatstroke, ideally as cool as possible.

Regardless how cold it is outside, it’s never EVER safe to leave your Frenchie in the car unattended with the A/C off and windows up. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the internal temperature of your car can rise double digits in just minutes.

How cold is too cold in the car?

Just as you don’t want your car to be too hot, you obviously don’t want it too cold either.

Unless it’s absolutely freezing outside, your Frenchie should be fine – You don’t have to worry about your car’s A/C being set too low.

Be sure to keep your car’s internal temperature above 50° F at all times to prevent hypothermia.

How long can you leave your Frenchie in a car?

You’re probably wondering if it’s okay to leave your Frenchie in the car for a few minutes if you crank the A/C and open the windows a bit.

The answer is simple: NO.

Reasons to never leave your dog alone in the car

  • Somebody could steal your dog
  • Whatever you’re doing might take more time than you expect
  • The car might heat up quicker than you think
  • The air conditioner could always fail (especially in the summertime)

If that doesn’t convince you, then maybe the fact that leaving a dog alone in a car is just plain illegal in most states.