Whether you are driving to visit family or going on holiday with your dog, it is important to consider how to make the journey safe and as calm as possible for your pet.
Secure in Harness
Our first tip is to make sure your dog is secure in a harness and seatbelt. You can buy these from most pet shops. The seat belt clips onto the harness and works the same as our seat belts, but gives the dog a bit more freedom to get comfy. Alternatively, if you don’t have a spare seatbelt plug, the best other option is to get a dog cage for your car boot. It is really important that your dog is secure in the case of an accident, but also that they can’t get to you or distract you whilst you are driving.
Take Regular Breaks
If you are travelling a long distance with your Dog, make sure you take regular pit stops! A lot of motorway service stations now have dog walking areas, which allow you to let your dog get some exercise safely. Never let your dog off the lead by a road – even if you trust that it will stay close to you. Accidents happen and dogs get easily distracted, so to keep both it and the people driving past you safe, keep your dog on a lead at all times when out the car.
Offer them Water
Dogs can get hot and bothered when stuck in a car. Make sure you offer the dog water throughout the journey and maybe even a treat or two if they are being good! Also note that much like us humans, drinking water from new, unfamiliar locations can cause an upset stomach for dogs. Use bottled water when travelling to avoid these issues.
Don’t Leave it in a Parked Car
Even if it doesn’t seem like a particularly hot day, cars get stuffy and uncomfortable when parked. Never leave your dog in a parked car unattended. This is hugely dangerous and many dogs have lost their lives due to this mistake. Instead, stop at places which allow dogs so that they can enjoy a refreshing stop at the same time as you!
Bring Home Comforts
Whether it’s your dogs favourite toy or a soft, comfortable blanket; having some home comforts with them in the car will automatically help them to feel more at ease. This will be particularly helpful if your dog is extra anxious in the car.
Avoid a Big Breakfast
If you know from experience that your dog gets car sickness or aren’t too sure, it’s best to avoid giving them a big breakfast before leaving. Instead, try giving them a little bit of food before you go and the rest when you arrive. This will also act as a treat for being so well behaved on the journey!
Take Some Test Drives
If you are really unsure on how well your dog will do in the car, it is a good idea to go on some shorted ‘test drives’ before the big trip. Plan a day of driving to a park so they get a treat out of it too!
Just like packing for kids, your dogs may need some extra supplies. Don’t forget to pack plastic bags, any medication given by a vet, a travel water bottle, treats and toys! It is also worth making a note of emergency numbers for your Vet incase anything goes wrong or your dog gets sick whilst away.
Plan in Advance
If taking your dog on a road trip, remember to plan in advance that all of your stops are pet-friendly. For example, make sure the beach allows dogs and definitely make sure that any accommodation is aware of your fury friend!
Head Inside The Car
You may see it all the time in movies and TV shows, but letting your dog stick their head out of the car window is actually very dangerous. Not only could they get hit by tight bridges or other vehicles, they also can get grit and other nasty things caught in their eyes. Keep them safely in the car, but there is definitely no harm in opening the window slightly for some fresh air.
Make Sure They are Microchipped
Never take your dog away with you before it has been microchipped. The law states that any dog who is old enough to leave the house should be microchipped.
Consider Using Window Shades
If the weather is extra sunny and bright, consider purchasing some window shades to avoid direct sunlight making your dog overheat. This will help them to stay as comfortable as possible as well as making the car cooler for everyone else too.
We hope you found these top tips useful, make sure you put them to good use on a fun road trip with your pets this summer! If you need to get your car serviced and ready to go, please contact LA Autos via our contact us page or ring us on 01234 354237.