BlogPaws/Pet360 Media Pet Blogger Network

Win a $25 Gift Card!

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 28, 2012

Win a $25 Gift Card On Our First Monthly Photo Contest From

Have you traveled somewhere fun with your pet? Share a photo with and enter to win a $25 Visa gift card!

There are three simple steps to win:
1. Like us on Facebook at
2. Follow us on Twitter @naturebydawn.
3. Email a photo of your pet on vacation at Put “October Pet Photo Contest” in the RE section, attach 1 .jpeg image, and tell us about your vacation. 

The contest entry below asks you to tweet about us and leave a blog comment but these two items are not required and do not increase your chances of winning. To win, you must complete the three above steps (exception may be made for those not on Twitter). The winner will be judged by us based on the quality of your image, the aesthetics of the photo, how apparent it is that your dog is at a vacation spot and not at home or near home, and how happy and/or cute your dog looks in the photo. We will allow our definition of vacation to be as simple as a one-day trip such as a hiking expedition or day at the beach.

1. Sorry, US entrants or people with an AE address only. We are not able to mail your gift card outside the US (unless it is an AE address) and if you opt for a $25 discount from our site instead we are not able to ship outside the continental US (unless it is an AE address).
2. One entry per person, even if you have multiple pets. If you don’t win this time, you can enter our next month’s giveaway even if it is the same photo, but the same photo cannot win more than once in a 12 month period.
3. You must like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Please don’t unlike us after the contest. We will have more contests and giveaways, will give discount codes and sales, and share fun and interesting stuff.
4. Contest entry must be received by October 31st, 2012. Winner will be determined November 1st or 2nd (depending on the number of entries) and announced on this blog on Saturday, November 3rd, 2012.
5. Your Like on Facebook and Follow on Twitter must be current at the end of the contest, October 31st, 2012.
6. Since the prize is a gift card, it can be used anywhere that accepts gift cards. Our website accepts gift cards, however, if the item you are purchasing is over $25 the gift card won’t work since you can’t make partial payments on a website. If you are a winner and wish to have $25 off an item from, please let us know so we can send you a discount code instead. The discount code will only be able to be used once and will only be usable for a limited time.
7. The photo must include your pet and should include indications that you are somewhere other than at home or at the local park.
8. Employees of and Nature by Dawn, Inc. are not eligible. 

Terms & Conditions:
1. We will not share your personal information or email address.
2. We will not send spam email or email you for any other reason other than that related to your contest entry.
3. By emailing us your photo, you agree to let us use the photo on our social media sites and for promotional purposes.
4. You understand and accept that the contest is judged subjectively and our winner decision is final.
5. We promise not to judge with favoritism so if you are a regular commenter on our blogs or have purchased from us in the past, don’t mention it in your contest entry because it won’t help.
6. Although we encourage that you travel safe with your dog, it is not required that your photo show your dog traveling safe in order for you to win. Whether you use a pet travel safety device for your dog when he rides in the car is not the subject of this particular contest and so will not increase your chances of winning. We do appreciate that you travel safely with your pet, though! 🙂 Perhaps this will be the subject of a future contest.
7. By entering the contest, you agree to all the rules and terms & conditions.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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September 22, 2008


I used to give my dogs rawhide bones all the time because they absolutely loved them and I thought it was good for their teeth.  But when they ate the whole bone within a matter of minutes, I worried.  Should they be eating that much at one time?  Even though it is good for their teeth, is it good for their bodies?  Rawhide is made from the hide of animals.  I couldn’t imagine that it had much nutritional value.

We came across an article recently that spells out the truth about rawhide bones and why you probably should not give them to your dog.  Check out this great article by Jon Dakins:—Treat-Or-Trouble?&id=1492142

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Before I went searching for a puppy, I checked with my apartments to make sure I could have another pet. I also made sure I could fit the expenses of a new pet into my budget. And finally, I needed to make sure I had the time for a new dog. Living in an apartment, I would have to take the dogs out for a walk everyday, even in winter. I would have to be around to keep a puppy from crying and disturbing the neighbors. And I couldn’t very well train a puppy if I didn’t have the time.

Research – Time
Puppies take a lot more time for care and training than a full grown dog. For one thing, a puppy’s bladder is very small so they need to go out every couple of hours or so during the day and probably at least two times during the night. It will take time for a puppy to get used to being away from their family so the first few days and nights may be full of puppy cries. Multiple vet visits will take more time. Unlike a full grown dog who may only need to go to the vet once or twice a year, a puppy will need to visit the vet 3-5 times just in the first 6 months alone. This is for booster shots, de-worming, surgery for spaying or neutering, and general health checkups for your fast-growing pet. Time will also be needed for training. You want to start training right away. If you are not familiar with how to train a puppy, classes may be provided by your local pet store, vet, or humane society. If you have a dog or puppy which is known to be very active, you will need to make sure you have the time to go on regular walks and/or visits to the park.

Research – Money
There are a lot of up-front costs for getting a new puppy. There are the vet visits and shots, dog collars, a leash, spay or neuter cost, puppy food, food and water bowls, and chew toys. You may also want to consider a crate for crate training, a dog bed, a pet ID chip, a dog seat belt or pet car seat for traveling in the car, pet health insurance, and a registration tag from your city. There may also be a pet deposit with your apartments, landlord, or neighborhood association. The monthly fees for pet care include food, annual shots, bi-annual vet visits, heartguard, flea and tick repellent like Advantix, replacement collars and leashes for regular wear and tear, and finally more chew toys and dog treats. Some apartments or neighborhood associations may also charge you a monthly fee for keeping your pet. You may also need money to board your pet or pay a pet sitter for when you travel and can’t take your dog with you.

Research – Living Conditions
Before you get a new dog or puppy, find out from your apartments, landlord, or neighborhood association if you are allowed to have dogs, and if so, if there is a weight limit. If there is a size or weight limit, you want to make sure you get a puppy that you know will not get very big. If you live in an apartment or a house with no yard, you want to consider getting a dog that does not require a lot of exercise or make sure there is a safe place to take your puppy for regular walks.  Keep in mind that some breeds do much better when they are outdoors and get a lot of exercise.  So be sure to do you research on dog breeds first to make sure the dog you want is suitable for where you live.

Later we will talk about where you can get a new puppy or dog. Check back with us in a few days!

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September 18, 2008


Are you considering getting a puppy? If you have never owned a dog before, it is important that you understand the responsibilities involved in raising a puppy so you will be more prepared to handle what is to come. It may also help some of you realize that perhaps a puppy just isn’t right for you. You may want to consider an older dog instead, or perhaps even a cat. Puppies take a lot of time and patience. There are going to be difficult times and many messes to clean up. But if you are prepared, you and your puppy will be much happier. And eventually the task of taking care of a puppy becomes easier as he learns the routines and rules of the house.

The first step before getting a puppy is to do research. You need to know what breed or breed mix is best for you and your family, whether your living situations can accomodate a pet, and finally, where you are going to get your puppy. Today’s article is about doing the research on what kind of dog or puppy to get. Later in the week we will talk about the other research that is needed. And later still, we will talk about the responsibilites involved in owning a puppy.

Research – What kind of dog or puppy to get
Before you decide on a breed, research dog breeds for their temperament, grooming requirements, and size. This will give you a lot of information on what to expect if you want a purebred dog. Don’t select a certain breed for superficial reasons until you have done your research on the breed and you are certain you can handle the responsibilities involved with that particular breed. You can get information on breeds from books, vets, various rescue groups and shelters, and from online sources such as blogs, articles, and forums. This will also help you learn about certain genetic diseases and health issues that are associated with certain purebreeds. is an excellent on-line source for getting information about specific breeds.

Most dog breeds can learn to get along with children and other pets, but some breeds tend to get along with them better than others. So if you have children or other pets, researching dog breeds will be very helpful.

You also need to condider if you can handle a dog which requires special grooming. If your dog is going to be mostly indoors, do you care if it is a breed that sheds? Do you want a dog that requires a periodic hair-cut? Will you take the time to periodically brush a long-haired dog?

The size and activity level of the dog your puppy is going to grow into is another thing to consider. You don’t want a large or highly energetic dog if you live in an apartment unless you plan on regularly taking the dog out for exercise. If you have children, the size and energy level of the dog may also be considered. Small children may not be good with a small dog and a large energetic dog may not be good for small children.

If you don’t care if your puppy is a purebred or not, knowing about breeds is still helpful. Sometimes it is easy to tell what sort of breed-mix a puppy is and this could help you in making your decision. Mixed breeds can also be good because your dog will most likely not have the genetic issues involved with purebreeds.

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Lola Driving the Car       travelindog.jpg

Does your dog love to travel in the car with you? You and your family wear seat belts when riding in the car. Does your pet? If you have not considered it, here are eight important reasons why your dog should wear a dog seat belt:

1. The dog won’t be able to distract the person driving the car. Distractions an be very dangerous to the driver. Some dogs are naturally well-behaved in the vehicle but many dogs have to be trained car-riding decorum. Why not train them in the pet auto seat belt instead?

2. Sudden unexpected stops may prevent the dog from flying forward into the dash, the back seat, or onto the floor. Dog’s noses are very sensitive. Hitting their nose on the dash or back of the seat can be a very painful experience.

3. The dog won’t be able to put their head out the window. Did you know that even a tiny spec of flying debris can do serious damage to the dog’s eyes or nose? Many dogs love to put their heads out the window, but it can be an equally pleasant experience if they are sitting in a pet auto seat belt by an open window. They won’t be able to put their heads out, but they can still get a whiff of the multiple odors zipping by.

4. Not only will the dog not be able to put their head out the window, they won’t be able to get their body out either. Dogs are instinctive creatures and if something catches their attention, such as another dog, a squirrel, or other animal, they may go after it without a thought. Perhaps your dog is too smart to do this, but why take the chance?

5. Many dogs will run or even bite if frightened. What if you and your pet happen to be in a serous auto accident? Your dog is going to be terrified. If there is a means of escape, the dog may get out of the car and run. And where are they most likely to run? It would be a terrible thing to survive an auto accident only to get hit by a car. Even if there is no way for the dog to escape, they may need medical attention. An injured dog may react defensively by tying to bite someone who is actually trying to help them. A dog that is restrained however, is easier to muzzle and therefore, easier to attend to.

6. Did you know that some states are considering pet restraints to be required for dogs traveling in the vehicle?  Get ahead by purchasing a pet auto seat belt now. If you wait until your state passes such a law, there will be businesses that will take advantage of the requirement and raise the prices on their products.

7. A pet auto seat belt can actually be quite comfortable once the dog gets used to it. For small dogs, a pet car seat in conjunction with the seat belt can also be extremely comfortable.  Dogs can have a difficult time laying down in a seat because of the turning, speeding up, slowing down, and stopping movements of the car. Many dogs can brace themselves better by standing or sitting. With a pet auto seat belt or pet car seat, a dog can stand, sit, or lay down comfortably and not have to worry about bracing themselves against car maneuvers.

8. Last but not least, a pet auto safety belt shows you to be a responsible and caring pet owner as well as a responsible driver. Friends and strangers will be impressed with your thoughtfulness and foresight. They in turn, may consider getting a pet auto seat belt for their own dog. You could be indirectly responsible for saving another dog’s life.

As you can see, all eight reasons are excellent reasons for your dog to wear a pet auto safety belt. Any argument against it are easily outweighed by the examples above. So do what is safe, what is best for you and your pet, and in some states, what is required by law. You and your dog will be all the happier for it.

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About the Terrier Dog Group

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 7, 2008

scottie.jpgDefining the terrier group by the look of the dog may not be as easy as you think. Most of us think of terriers as having wiry hair but not all terriers in this group share this trait – Consider the Bull Terrier, for example, which has a short dense coat. Another difficulty is that all kennel clubs do not agree on which dogs belong or don’t belong in the terrier group. For example, the United Kennel Club (UKC) in the United States includes the Jack Russell Terrier but the American Kennel Club (AKC), also in the United States, does not.

So what defines a terrier? The origin and occupation of the breed play a large part in defining the terrier. Most terrier breeds originated in Britain and the surrounding areas. Terriers were bred to track down and pursue prey from their holes or lairs. In fact, the terrier group gets its name from the Latin word, terra, which means earth. The character of a terrier, however, is its most defining trait. But note that the terrier’s character is probably what made the original occupation of terriers so successful. For a dog to be able to pursue animals from the ground, they had to be brave and tenacious. As a result, most terriers are defined as being courageous, feisty, and relentless, often to the point of being single-minded and head-strong. Terriers generally do not tolerate other dogs and have a tendency to fight. (This particular trait is what unfortunately makes the American Pit Bull Terrier be used in illegal and inhumane dog fighting.)Terriers range in size, most having a wiry coat which requires special grooming. They tend to be vocal dogs and are well-known for being eager and alert, as well as intelligent. Dogs in this group include the American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, Welsh Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Fox Terrier (Smooth), Fox Terrier (Wire), Airedale Terrier, Irish Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Schnauzer, Scottish Terrier, Skye Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Border Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, and more.

This article was inspired by a customer who saw our ad for in the Metro Pet magazine in Kansas City. She has two very lively Cairn Terriers who will not hold still while in the car, making it very dangerous for her to drive since the dogs provide a huge distraction.

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Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

Author: MayaAndPierson
August 31, 2008

maddie.jpgOwning a pet offers years of a rewarding experience. The loyalty, love, and affection they provide is vast. It has even been said that pets help people live longer healthier lives. Although the rewards of owning a pet far outweigh the reponsibilities, the obligations of a pet owner are still very important. After providing annual shots and vet visits, spaying or neutering your dog or cat is the most important. Several people have excuses about why their pet is not spayed or neutered. As pet lovers who sincerely believe in helping to prevent homeless animals, we feel that it is important to stress the benefits of spaying or neutering.

Why Breeding Your Pet is Not a Good Idea
Unless you are a professional breeder, you probably should not be breeding your dog or cat. There are a lot of costs involved in breeding that you may not have considered. Finding a male for your female is not always easy. And if you do find a male, there may be a stud fee involved. If you already have both a male and female breed, you may be inadvertantly breeding dogs or cats that are too closely related and therefore contributing to the degeneration of the breed. Once you have a pregnant female, there are several vet visits which cost money. There is not only the vet cost for the pregnant female, but there are also vet fees involved for the puppies or kittens. If you want to sell quality breeds, vet costs increase because you want the vet to check for health issues and hereditary problems. Also, some breeds require docking of tails or ears which also involves vet fees.

Another thing to consider is that all of your puppies or kittens may not be sold. If you are a considerate pet breeder, you may want to dispose of them by taking them to a no-kill shelter. No-kill shelters often request a donation in order to help them care for the animal before it is adopted. More often than not, breeding dogs or cats is not as profitable as you might think. And sometimes, no profit is made at all.

Besides costs, a lot of your time is required when caring for the pregnant female and her puppies or kittens. The mother dog or cat does not always care for her young properly. And if proper care is not given by either you or the mother, some of the young may die before they have a chance to be sold.

Even if you are lucky enough to find homes for the puppies or kittens your pet has had, you would be surprised to find how many of them end up in a shelter later. A lot of people get a puppy or kitten on impuse because they are so adorable. But people who don’t have the knowledge or the desire to learn about raising a pet tend to end up with an adult dog or cat they can’t handle. That pet may then end up abandoned. Stray dogs may bite or attack people or pets, get into trash, defecate on your lawn and spread disease to other pets. Research shows there are more dogs and cats born every day than there are people which means there are not enough people willing to adopt them all.

Spaying or Neutering Does Not Cost a Lot of Money
Costs to spay or neuter your pet can vary depending on your vet. If you can’t afford those costs, check with your local humane society and ask about low-cost spaying and neutering programs. These programs were formed in order to prevent unwanted pets so they will be glad to help you find something that can fit within your budget.

Spaying or Neutering Can Help Curb Certain Behavior Problems
Male cats who are not fixed tend to spray more often than male cats who are not neutered. When a male cat sprays, there is a highly offensive odor that can easily infiltrate your entire home. Not only that, the odor on the item that was sprayed will be difficult to remove. When female cats who are not fixed go into heat, they tend to do this odd screeching cry that is both incessant and loud. This could happen twice a year (usually in the spring and fall) and lasts up to three weeks.

Male dogs who are not fixed tend to mark more often, even indoors, and especially when they smell a female dog in heat. Indoor marking could damage your furniture and the smell could be difficult to remove. Female dogs who are not fixed tend to leave marks of blood on your carpet or furniture. Dogs do not bleed as heavily as people, but they do bleed – the bigger the dog, the more noticable the spotting.

For both male and female pets who are not fixed, you could have problems with them trying to get out of the house or fenced yard. Females in heat are especially more urgent to get outdoors. Male pets who catch the scent of a female in heat could be more inclined to get out of the house or dig out of the yard or jump the fence.

If you are wanting a loyal and lovable affectionate pet, your chances of getting one is by having your pet spayed or neutered. Believe it or not, studies show that fixed pets tend to be more affectionate.

Spaying or Neutering Can Help Prevent Certain Health Issues
Fixed pets tend to live longer. Losing a pet is very difficult so you want your dog or cat to live as long as possible. A dog that is spayed or neutered also tends to be healthier. They are also less likely to get certain types of cancer. A sick dog can be very expensive to make healthy. And in many cases, the pet can end up dying anyway.

So please help to prevent homeless pets by getting your dog or cat spayed or neutered. Spaying or neutering your pet benefits you, your pet, and the community.

This article was inspired by No More Homelss Pets KC (NMHPKC)

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Tails on the Trails Event

Author: MayaAndPierson
August 17, 2008


Yesterday, August 16th, 2008, participated in the Tails on the Trails event at Ad Astra Park and Swimming Pool. Sephi and Maya came too in order to show off their seat-belt-wearing-skills. We all had a great time. Maya and Sephi made a lot of new friends and spread the word about the importance of keeping your pet safe when they are in the car.

The Tails on Trails event was sponsored by Lenexa Parks and Recreation in conjunction with the Lenexa Animal Control. Lots of animal-related businesses had booths at the event including Woof’s Plan & Stay, Bark Busters, Metro Pet Magazine, PawPrints Magazine, and of course, The fun activities which took place at this park included puppy swimming, pet/owner look-a-like contest, a bat presentation, pet show and parade, gentle dog training demo, and the Lenexa Police K9 demonstration. There were also fun kid activities such as Make Your Own Dog Treats and the Fire Depart Deluge where the fire department let loose a stream of water from high in the sky so that kids and pets could play in the giant sprinkler.

Click HERE for more fun photos of the event.  Please note that the photos are for online use only.

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August 11, 2008

cassie.jpgShetland Sheepdogs are highly intelligent dogs. They are affectionate, intensely loyal, and an all-around great family pet. They are good with children if they are raised with them from an early age and they do well with other pets. They tend to be a little wary of strangers, sometimes to the point of being skittish or snappy but their loyalty to their family more than makes up for it. They require regular brushing but their size makes them great for any sized home, including a farm or even an apartment.

The Shetland Sheepdog is also known as a Sheltie or a Miniature Collie. They originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland where the Shetland Pony and Shetland Sheep also come from. It is possible that the Shetland Sheepdog was bred to herd those smaller sheep but it is more likely that they were used on the farm to scare off birds, rodents, and garden pests such as rabbits.

With a few differences, the Shetland Sheepdog looks like a miniature version of the Collie. The dominate color of the Shetland Sheepdog is either black, blue-merle, or sable. The dominate color is accompanied by varying amounts of white and/or tan. Their hair is long and needs regular brushing. Their weight ranges anywhere from 10 to 40 pounds. Their height according to AKC standards should be 13 to 16 inches to the shoulder but can be shorter or taller with the height proportionate to the weight.

If you consider adopting an adult Shetland Sheepdog, do not be concerned if the dog does not warm up to you right away. Since Shetland Sheepdogs tend to be wary of strangers, bonding time will be needed. If you are considering purchasing a Shetland Sheepdog puppy be aware of several inherited and/or susceptible diseases common to the breed. These health issues include Dermatomyositis ( a genetic disease of the skin), Von Willebrand Disease (a bleeding disorder), malformation of the eyes, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and various skin allergies. Before you purchase from a breeder make sure the breeder has clear bloodline records. A breeder should have vet records showing that they eyes were checked for the eye disease and that DNA tests were done for the Von Willebrand Disease. Some of the symptoms for the diseases listed above do not show up until about age two so adoption of an adult dog is a safe way to go but will require some bonding time.

The image above is an artistic rendition of Cassie. Cassie was adopted at age 1 and quickly bonded with the adopter’s 10 year old daughter. Cassie became the 10-year-old’s dog and spent the remainder of her life with her. Cassie died at age 13 when her owner was 23. She can attest that Cassie was the best dog she has ever had.  Cassie was extremely loyal, knew over 30 commands, and very lovable.  If you want to read more about Cassie and the owner, visit the Pet Pals page of To view other pet art from the artist of Cassie, visit

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August 4, 2008

killerdriving.jpgMany dogs love to ride in the car. You see them often with their noses to the wind and a happy doggy grin on their face. So you know dogs can enjoy a car ride but perhaps you are not sure how to get your dog to enjoy it too. Whether you have a puppy or an older dog, here are a few tips to help help your dog enjoy the car ride.

First, you need to consider using a pet auto safety device such as a pet car seat, dog seat belt, or pet carrier. If you use a pet auto safety device for your pet, you need to allow your pet time to get used to it. If you are using a pet car seat, for example, allow your pet to use as a bed for a short time before putting it in the car. If you are using a dog seat belt, put the safety harness on the dog (without the buckle strap attached) and allow them to wear it around the house (with supervision). If you are using a crate, crate train your pet first.

Tip #1 – To Help to Prevent Vomiting or Voiding in the Car
* Do not give them anything to eat for an hour or two before the ride.
Don’t allow them to drink excessively.
Allow your dog to take a potty break just before going for a ride.

Tip #2 – Take Short Fun Trips
Once your dog is used to the pet auto safety device, start taking them somewhere they will enjoy.  This will help them learn to associate a car ride with these special places.
Go to the park.
Visit the pet store.
Take your pet with you to visit a friend.
Take your pet with you when you are only going to a drive-through such as at a bank or fast-food place.
Go to a coffee shop or restaurant where you can sit outside.

Never take your dog someplace where you will have to leave them unattended in the car. The inside of a car is not safe for a pet, even if it is not hot outside or the windows are rolled down. Not only are there dangers, but it could also cause your pet to get lonely, anxious, or nervous. If your dog already fears a car ride, leaving them alone in it is not going to help.

Tip #3 – Distract Your Pet
Give your dog a familiar object like their favorite toy or blanket.
* T
alk to your dog while you drive, but don’t use a soothing voice. Talking to them in a soothing voice may confirm their thinking that the car ride is a bad thing. Use a regular tone of voice and talk as if nothing is wrong. However, every dog is different. Some dogs may get more excited by the sound of your voice, in which case you should ignore them. Try both talking and silence to see which works best for your pet. Try not to scold your pet. Positive reinforcement is the best way to make a car ride enjoyable. Do not let your talking to the dog distract you from your driving. It is also recommended that you do not pet them while you drive. Not only can this distract you from the road, it may also encourage the dog to pester you for more attention.
Try playing the radio for your pet. Soothing music may have a calming effect on some pets. But most importantly, the sound of music will help cover the loud and unfamiliar sounds of the road. A passing semi, for example, may be a familiar sound to us, but the rumbling of these big trucks can be terrifying for a dog who has never heard them before.
* Open a window. Even if the loud sounds of the road are a problem for your pet an open window may provide a distraction of new and interesting smells for your dog. Most dogs seem to love this aspect of car rides. Your dog should not be able to stick their head out the window while using a restraint, but they should still be able to catch those exciting scents.
If possible, have someone sit in the back seat with your dog.  They can provide a distraction that you, as the driver, can not.  This person, however, should not use a soothing voice and comforting manner.  Remember, you want your dog to think that riding in the car is no big deal.

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