Most dogs absolutely love a trip in the car, but there are some things you should do to ensure the outing is as safe and easy as possible for you and man’s best friend.
As with most things in life, preparation is the key.
So, we present our tips for happy and safe road trips with dogs:
- Get your dog used to going in the car on short trips before you attempt a longer journey.
- A walk and some exercise before the car trip might help your dog settle and possibly even sleep through the journey.
- A pre-drive feeding might not be a great idea.
- Factor in extra time for plenty of breaks and don’t forget some plastic bags too!
- Bring along a favourite chew toy or ball.
- The back seat or cargo area (in a wagon) is most likely the safest place for your dog to travel. The front seat is not a safe place for a dog to travel.
- Always take your dog’s leash, you never know when you might have to step away from the car.
- Your dog should be microchipped and have an identification tag on his collar.
- Use an appropriate dog seatbelt/restraint, these are available from all good pet stores.
- Protect your car’s interior, especially the seats, with seat coverings.
- Take along plenty of water and a bowl so your dog can stay hydrated (even in colder weather).
- Take a supply of your dog’s usual food.
- Keep an eye on how your dog is coping on a journey. Dogs can’t cool down as easily as humans, so a comfortable temperature for you may still be too hot for your dog.
- When stopped, especially in warmer weather, park in the shade and remember even a short period in a hot car can make your dog seriously ill.