How owners take care of their dogs during car transportation in Italy
Keywords:dog, behavior, car transportation,
The study aimed at assessing owners’ behavior regarding dog transportation by car and how it may affect dogs’ response to the journey. 907 dog owners filled in a multiple-choice item questionnaire. 28.3% of dogs responded negatively to car transportation. For problematic dogs, few owners administered substances. The most used means of restraint in the car were: net/grating (34.2%), kennel (22.4%), and seat belt/leash (15.9%). A high percentage of dogs (60.6%) is transported alone, 18.3% with other dogs and 1.7% with other animals. The company of other dogs did not seem to affect the negative response to car transportation (5.6% vs 6.0%).
While travelling, dogs were provided with: blanket (47.9%), water (27.0%), toys (13.1%), or food (3.5%). Dogs not provided with anything more frequently displayed problems (29.0% vs 20.7%; χ 2=8.79, p=0.003). Administering water or a blanket seemed to be related to a good response to travel (respectively 14.3% vs 27.3%, χ2=13.52; p=0.000; 20.3% vs 27.1%, χ2=9.49; p=0.002), but not toys (26.9% vs 23.4%) or food (6.8% vs 9.2%).
The majority of dogs (86.0%) were used to travelling by car as puppies. These results appear to be useful in understanding how people take care of their dogs during car transportation and how owners’ knowledge and animal welfare can be improved.