Top Tips for travelling with a dog

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Think before you drive

It is an alarming fact that One in Four people who travel with their dog break the law by not restraining them, according to the RAC. When travelling anywhere with your dog, whether it be to the local woods or going on a summer adventure, it is IMPORTANT that you restrain the dog so he cannot be a dangerous distraction.  As well as being dangerous the driver can also face a fine of up to 2500 pounds. and invalidate your insurance

It is also important to remember that whilst it may look cute and the dog This includes distracting other drivers and injuries from debris thrown up by other cars and distracting other drivers.

Prepare your dog  for safe car travel

Initially, please 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 placing the crate into the car, let your pet become accustomed to using it at home. Make sure that the crate or carrier is securely fastened and relatively 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.

Items to take for the journey

In addition to your belongings, take along a favourite pet toy or blanket to provide familiarity for your dog. You will also need to pack poo bags, a bowl and food, a drinking container with fresh water supplies, a first aid kit and 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.

Lunch on the Go

When travelling with a dog on a long journey, as well as taking food and water for you and the family, make sure you also carry food and water for your pets and spill-proof bowls. It may also be a good idea to pack some ice for everyone, especially if the weather is hot

Dogs Die in Hot Cars!

Every year, despite campaigns by Dog Trust and the RSPCA, pets continue to die in ho cars as they are left alone with the windows closed (or even slightly open) and no air con. The best advice anyone can give you is, please do not leave your dog alone in the car. Remember, the UK weather can change very quickly from being overcast one minute to sunny the next, and a closed car acts like a greenhouse.

If you plan to travel regularly with your dog, consider a large hatchback or a 4 x 4 as the dog can then be left in a crate and the boot or door open for air.

Keeping clean whilst travelling with a dog

Another important thing to take with you on your journey when travelling with your dog in case of any minor accidents is to ensure you have some pet-safe disinfectant, poo bags, wipes, and towels to clean up any urine or faeces. Absorbent fleecy bedding is ideal. This is comfortable, but any wetness will soak through to the underside. Using shredded paper or cat litter granules underneath any bedding will help further absorb any leakages.

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 from causing an accident as they move around the vehicle. Did you know that dogs on the loose cause 35% of accidents?

Plan your journey with frequent stops, just as you would with small children in the car. Frequent toilet stops and time 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.

Accommodation

If you are going for more than just a drive or a day out, it is important to make sure that pet-friendly accommodation is available to you while travelling to a holiday destination. Holiday accommodation includes farms, cottages and holiday houses. Before you book, closely check in-house rules. Make sure the landlords allow pets. If dogs are allowed at your choice of a cottage, inquire if they are allowed inside or outside only. Also, esquire is there any restricted area for your dog to relax. Also, check if they offer pet care services. There might be occasions or weather might change unusually, and you need their services to leave your pet temporary with them.

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 travels with your pet is also worth reading.

Please remember that your dog is a member of your family. You would not drive without your family member being securely strapped in…

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