Most of us will see our dogs as part of the family. After all they live with us, eat with us and most importantly travel with us. It makes sense for many dog owners to take their pet pooch with them on visits to see family far away. Currently there are no laws telling us what and what not to do when driving with a dog. But it is important to make that journey a safe and comfortable one.
Fit an adequate restraint in the car
The first thing to consideration is putting in a restraint. You can think of this as a type of seat belt for your dog. A loose dog in a moving car can be a recipe for disaster. It’s only natural for the more nervous of dogs to get a little agitated as the car moves. It will obviously be a big distraction to the driver too. Bigger dogs can be strong enough to knock the driver out of his or her seat too. The right restraint is a must!
There are some great designs for car dog seats, these range for small secure chairs for little dogs to tight-fitting harnesses for the larger animals. It’s important to opt for a restraint that will allow for some movement in the car. Mesh boot guards will stop lively dogs jumping up into the front seats.
Leaving dogs alone in cars
Unfortunately, hundreds of dogs die in hot cars each year. Leaving a dog in a car for long periods of time is not recommended, especially during adverse weather conditions. If for whatever reason you do need to leave your dog in a car alone, make sure that a window is left open enough for them to get plenty of air. It would be a better idea to take the dog out of the car and tied up in some cool shade.
But security wise, leaving a window open and deactivating part of the alarm system could cause problems in terms of car insurance. Some insurance companies will not pay out if a car has been stolen or damaged due to an open window. A solution would be to avoid leaving your pet pooches alone in the car at all.
Travelling on long journeys
When it comes to knowing your pet, you are the expert. It’s important to take into consideration all their habits and quirks. Some dogs may be able to travel for three or four hours without getting annoyed or agitated. Other dogs might calm down after lots of short breaks. Its recommended that you take a break once every two hours. Look out for a patch of grass at the next motorway service station where Fido or Princess can have a little run around and get some fresh air while on their lead.
Fresh water is a must on journeys whether they be long ones or short trips. Magnetic water bowls will stick to the car floor. Alternatively a ‘drink break’ is a must every half hour to forty five minutes during the warmer weather.