Travelling with Your Dog in a Car
Are you embarking on a staycation this summer? If you’re taking your furry friend along with you, that’s even better! Here are some tips on how to make the drive as comfortable as possible for both you and your dog.
Before you head off, there are a few things you can do to prepare your pet for the journey ahead:
- If you want to feed your dog before you leave, make sure it is at least a few hours beforehand as this will avoid car sickness and unwanted toilet stops.
- Give your pet a run around to tire them out as this is a good way to ensure that they are calm for the journey – they will probably just fall asleep!
- In the weeks leading up to your holiday, try and take your dog out on small trips in the car to get used to the movement and surroundings.
Now that you are ready to go, here are 5 rules to follow to make sure that you are driving with your pet legally and there are no problems along the way:
- Safety First
Just as you wear a seat belt, your dog also needs to be safely seated in your car; this could be in a crate in the boot, harnessed to their own seat belt or in the boot separated from the back seats with a dog guard. Never let your dog roam loose in the car as they could distract you or hurt themselves by slipping when the car is breaking, accelerating or cornering.
- Hot Days
Even though it seems obvious, some of us still seem to ignore it – never, ever leave your dog in the car if it’s warm outside. Always make sure there is shade provided when driving on a hot day and that they have plenty of room.
- Regular Hydration
Always remember to pack a large bottle of water and a bowl and to take regular breaks from driving to give your pets a drink and a stretch. This will be good for both of you! Don’t forget poop bags for their toilet breaks, too.
- Keep Windows Closed
It is extremely dangerous for your dog to hang their head out of the window while you are driving as oncoming traffic or air-borne debris could seriously injure them; it is also a distraction for other drivers. Either open your window a fraction or invest in a window guard.
Frequents stops, packing their favourite rug, or plenty of chew toys are great ways to keep your dog distracted and entertained on a long journey. If they’re busy chewing their plastic bone and content with comforting smells of home, then they won’t be restless and bored.
These are simple things that can make a huge difference to your journey for both you and your dog, so once you reach your destination, you will both be happy and enjoy your time away. Remember these tips on the way back home too though!