For the majority of dog owners, a day out is no fun if you have to leave your favourite pet behind at home, yet travelling with a dog in your car can be a stressful experience, not only for you but also for your canine companion. With some forward planning and preparation, you can make sure it’s a comfortable and safe trip for all the travellers. Taking a journey with a pet involves more than just sticking them onto the back seat of the car, especially if your journey is a long distance. Here are my tips to help you have a pleasant journey:
Prepare your dog for safe car travel
Initially, take a few short journeys with your pet, gradually lengthening the time of each journey to let them get used to the motion of the car.
Use a Pet Crate or a Dog Guard – Keep your dog secure and safe in a carrier or well-ventilated dog create. Ensure that your pet can stand upright, and is also able to turn around and lie down. Before you place the crate into the car, let your pet become accustomed to using it at home. Always make sure that the crate or carrier is securely fastened and is quite stable in the car before you leave on your journey. Some dogs are happier in the boot of your hatchback or estate car, protected by a rigid dog guard placed behind the back seat.
Feeding routine – Give your pet a last feed with a light meal, around 3-4 hours before the journey begins, and never feed your dog in a moving vehicle.
Never leave your dog alone in a parked vehicle – During hot, summer weather, a parked car can become like an oven in no time at all, even with the window open, and likewise during the winter, a car can very quickly become like a fridge. Never leave your pet alone in the car for any period of time.
Items to take for the journey – In addition to your own belongings, take along a favourite pet toy or blanket to provide familiarity for your dog. You will also need to pack poo bags, bowl and food, and a drinking container with freshwater supplies, as well as any medication your dog needs.
Collar, lead and ID tag –Never go far from home without your dog’s ID information. Consider the outcome if he were to run off in a strange place, not knowing his way home.
Keep your dog safe
We’ve all seen dogs travelling in cars with their heads hanging out of a side window, ears and jowls flapping in the wind, but this isn’t the best idea to keep your dog safe in the car. Always keep your pet restrained, either with a harness that clips to a human’s seat belt or in a cage or crate, to prevent them causing an accident as they move around the vehicle.
Plan your journey with frequent stops, just as you would with small children in the car. Frequent toilet stops and time for them to run around outside will make for a more pleasant journey. Of course, if you think it would be best for your pet not to make the journey, look for a professional Pet Sitter to look after your dog in your own home.
Dog Walkers collecting dogs in a vehicle
Many Dog Walkers in the area pick up several dogs in their vehicles, then drive to open ground where the dogs are let out of the van to exercise. If you use a Dog Walker that transports your dog in their vehicles, please ensure that they are singly crated, not double crated. This will ensure safe car travel for your dog as well as comfort. It is also important to check that they have the relevant, up to date motor insurance to cover transporting live animals. Finchley Dog Walker do not use cars or vans to transport dogs to and from their daily walks, all walks start and finish at your door with no car journeys no crates. Just walking
Taking a journey with your dog in a car can be a challenge. They bark, yap and whine, and sometimes even throw up, but if you take these sensible precautions, you can all enjoy the experience!
The AA Guide on safe car travel with your pet us alao worth aarea