How To Care For Your Dog On A Long Car Journey

  • 13/06/2019
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Everybody loves to take their dog with them when seeking adventure at the beach, park, or in the woods – but our informal approach to travelling in cars with dogs puts them, us, and other road users in danger. While it’s wonderful if you make a point of taking pooch with you on your road trips, it is well worth thinking about just how you do so before you next set out with him or her on board.

Making your dog safe and comfortable in your car doesn’t take much, but it is something that requires deliberate attention. Even the most robust looking hound can soon suffer in a hot car or on a bumpy ride, and unfortunately, we never know when human error might wind up in a collision or a sudden stop.

In terms of comfort, then, do pay special attention to the temperature when you’re driving, and use air conditioning if possible. Fresh air from the windows can also be great but, contrary to the familiar image, having your dog hang his head out the window while you drive is unlikely to keep him happy. At best it might dry out his eyes, while at worst you put him in danger of being struck by passing objects, or even squeezing his way out.

You should also make plenty of stops to let him put his feet on the ground and to cock his leg. Even if he appears to enjoy the ride, motoring really isn’t a dog’s natural habitat. And treats should also be avoided while on the move, to avoid the risk of choking.

While it’s great if he’s comfortable travelling in the boot you should make sure that he is quite secure there. A guard rail between the boot and the rear seat is one method, although you could also put him in a crate. Adding blankets will make it easier for him to get comfortable.

If he prefers to be up front with the family, there are a range of options available, from harnesses and carry boxes to a dog ‘hammock’ that hangs between the front and rear seats, creating a kind of cradle to keep him where he belongs.

For the full lowdown on the best of these options, and a bit more on road comfort for dogs, have a look at this lovely new visual guide from Budget Direct. A dog can make a road trip a million times more fun, so make sure you give something back by making him cosy and secure in the car.

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