The aim of this study was to quantitatively assess the kind of transport dogs undergo, the behaviours displayed during transport, the prevalence of travel-related problems in dogs and owners' interventions to solve these problems. A convenience sample of 907 dog owners completed a questionnaire containing 16 multiple-choice questions. All dogs had been transported by car at least once, but 4.7 per cent were no longer transported. 76.2 per cent of animals always responded positively to car transport, the rest showing or having shown problems (6.7 per cent always reacted negatively). Dogs were found to be more excited than inhibited during car transport. The vast majority (86.0 per cent) had become used to travelling by car as puppies; this made them less likely to develop problems (6.3 per cent v 24.1 per cent; χ2=19.886, P=0.000). If dogs were transported only to veterinary clinics, they were more prone to respond negatively to car transport (46.4 per cent v 22.7 per cent; χ2=7.245, P=0.007). For dogs reported as problematic (23.8 per cent of the sample), 96.3 per cent of the owners did not administer any treatments or other substances, 48.7 per cent did not seek any advice, and 40.4 per cent of them made attempts to solve the problem by themselves.
- Accepted February 3, 2012.
- British Veterinary Association
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Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed