Tips for keeping dogs safe on a long car journey

Posted on 22 July, 2019

Pixabay - Pet in Car

The long summer holidays are fast approaching and many people will be heading off on holiday and taking their dog with them.

For some, they will be doing a ‘staycation’ in the UK which are becoming increasingly popular. Travel marketing specialist Sojern highlighted a 33% year-on-year increase in searches and bookings for trips within the UK between June and September.

Others may choose to take their dog abroad. Last year Eurotunnel reported that pet owners are increasingly looking to travel with their furry companions on holidays abroad, with over two thirds (67 per cent) saying they planned to go away with their dogs in 2018.

The Eurotunnel survey also found that than half of pet owners (60 per cent) plan their holidays around their dogs, with a similar number (57 per cent) saying they would enjoy their holiday more if their dog was with them. The vast majority (82 per cent) of UK pet owners surveyed said that they feel more relaxed when spending time with their dog.

If you are planning to take your pooch away with you this year, home or abroad here are our tips for keeping them safe on a long journey:

  • In March it was reported that people could face fines of up to £5000 and invalidate their insurance if pets are roaming lose in their car, something most people aren’t aware of.

  • Ideally your car should have a secured crate or pet carrier that they can go in. This should either be in the back of the car if you have an estate car, or secured to the seatbelt of the rear seats. Never put this in the front seat, even if you are travelling alone.

  • If you don’t have a crate or carrier then your dog should be restrained on the back seat using a harness, which clicks into the seat belt.

  • Keep pets cool whilst driving by keeping the window open or putting the air conditioning on. On hot summer days pets will feel the temperature more than people because of their fur coat, so be mindful that whilst you may feel OK your pet may be over heating.

  • Always carry water and a water bowl. Whilst lots of service stations and restaurants will have water available, this is no good if you are stuck in traffic for any length of time. It’s equally as important for people too – getting stuck on a motorway without water on a very hot day could be disastrous without water.

  • Don’t let you dog stick its head out of the window. It’s dangerous and could also distract other drivers. Dogs can also get problems with their eyes because of the wind, insects and dust going into their eyes.

  • Take regular breaks. It’s wise to stop every two or three hours so your dog can go to the toilet and stretch their legs for a bit. Make sure you give them a 10-15 minute walk about, not just a five minute stop.

  • Before heading off it’s a good idea to take them on a fairly long walk first to tire them out. Also feed them a good few hours before heading off or if you pet is prone to car sickness consider not feeding them until you reach your destination.

  • If travelling aboard ensure you have their pet passport, plus all the food they will need unless you know you can buy it easily when away. Changing a dogs food isn’t a good idea when on holiday as it could upset their stomach or they may become a bit fussy and not want to eat it.

  • Remember to never leave your pet in the car when you take a break. In the summer a car can get unbearably hot, even after just a few minutes which could be potentially fatal for your pets.

Follow these simple tips and you and your pet will arrive safe and sound, ready to enjoy your holiday!

If you are not taking your pet away this summer and need someone to look after them in your home, why not give us a call?

We have hundreds of professional and reliable homesitters available up and down the country, so get in touch today on 01296 630 730 to discuss your requirements.


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