Are you ready to create some great summer vacation memories by hitting the road with your canine best friend? Before you load up and get going, follow these 7 tips to keep your dog happy while driving
BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
Before you hit the road, make sure that you have everything you’ll need to keep your dog happy and healthy when travelling in the car. Here’s a list of must-haves:
- Lead, collar and ID tag:
Make sure your dog has a collar with a tag, and that the contact details are up to date, or that they are micro-chipped. Keep some recent photos with you as well, in case they get lost.
- Food and water:
Bring along a sufficient supply of water and the food your dog is accustomed to eating. Changing to food that is different from what your dog normally consumes combined with the car’s motion can sometimes leave your dog feeling ill.
- Practice makes perfect
Get your dog used to travelling with short local trips before your long journey, especially if they’ve previously shown signs of nervousness when travelling.
- Doctor’s orders
If possible it’s advisable to take your dog to the vet for a check-up before you hit the road for a long journey. It is also generally advised that very young, very old or ill animals should not be transported. Ask yourself if taking the animal on a long journey is in their best interest?
- Keep your pet restrained
It is generally recommended that your dog be restrained in a crate or box when driving. This will avoid potential hazards like the animal jumping around and distracting you when driving or getting in the way of pedals, and it will also stop them being thrown around the car in the event of a sudden stop or impact.
- Take breaks
Make sure you stop regularly so both you and your pet can stretch your legs. Let them enjoy some fresh air and water. Take note of their behaviour in the car, if they start whining, it might be time for a quick bathroom break.
- Overheating isn’t just a car problem
Do not leave your pets in the car on their own for more than a few minutes if you have to leave the vehicle. Temperatures inside a vehicle can rise extremely quickly. Make sure fresh, cool air is available while you drive as animals get hot a lot quicker than we do. Letting your pet stick their head out the window isn’t necessarily a “fresh air” experience for them. Their hearing can be damaged by the wind and they risk bugs and dirt flying into their eyes.
For those of you looking to venture overseas taking a pet with you to another country is often a complicated and time-consuming process, and you should do careful research before embarking on this costly process. Click here to find out more about the necessary requirements for travel to and from EU and specified other non-EU European countries.