Top Tips for travelling with a dog

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dog-2413927_640 Top Tips for travelling with a dog

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 to the local woods or on a summer adventure, you must control the dog so it 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.

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 car’s motion.

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. Ensure the crate or carrier is securely fastened and relatively stable in the vehicle 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 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 to a strange place, not knowing his way home.

Lunch on the Go

When travelling with a dog on a long journey and taking food and water for you and the family, make sure you also carry food and water for your pets and spill-proof bowls. Packing some ice for everyone, especially if the weather is hot.

Dogs Die in Hot Cars!

Despite campaigns by Dog Trust and the RSPCA every year, pets continue to die in hot 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 to not leave your dog alone in the car. Remember, the UK weather can change 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 essential 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. 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. Regular toilet tops 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.


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

Taking a journey with your dog in a car can be a challenge. They bark, yap, 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 worth reading.

Please remember that your dog is a member of your family. You would not drive with your family member being securely strapped in…

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