One of the bonuses of having a dog is taking him or her with you when you travel. These days, a car is not a strange concept for your pet as more dogs are becoming used to travelling. This article will review how you and your dog can travel safely and comfortably.
The first step in travelling with your dog is to prepare your car and plan what to take. Smaller dogs often sit comfortably in a dog bed on one of the rear seats; ideally avoid putting your dog on the front seat as this can distract you as the driver and can be unsafe for you and your dog. Larger dogs are often best in the boot of the car (if the boot is large enough and does not have a cover), or on the rear seats, with a bed.
When deciding on where in the car your dog can sit, ensure the dog has access to a window and fresh air coming into the car. Also check that your dog can sit and lie down in the area comfortably. If your dog is prone to climbing over the seats, it may be worth investing in a dog guard or crate to ensure that they cannot do this.
If you are planning on travelling with your dog for long periods, make sure you bring water and food, as well as bowls, to offer them. If your dog gets car sick, avoid feeding them a large meal before travelling. You can also contact your local vet for medication which may calm your dog and prevent travel sickness.
Once you are travelling with your dog, it is vital you drive as safe as possible. Ideally, drive slower than you may do usually, and avoid braking or accelerating abruptly. This will prevent your dog from injuring themselves. Remember to take regular breaks, once every two-three hours if possible, to allow your dog to go to the toilet. Most service stations have grassy areas that are perfect for this, and is also a good time to let your dog stretch their legs.
When stopping off at service stations or picnic areas try to ensure that your dog stays away from any litter or rubbish bins. If you do suspect that they have picked up and eaten something it’s good to have a digestive supplement to hand, to avoid any accidents
Please do not allow your dog to be left alone in the car for long periods – this is especially important if it is hot weather. If you do have to leave your dog in the car alone, leave the nearest window open slightly to allow fresh air into the car, and minimise the time you are away as much as possible.If you are away for a long time, it is a good idea to have a contact number for the nearest vet to where you will be staying. Accidents can happen whilst you are away with your dog, but if you are prepared, then hopefully any stresses are kept to a minimum. Treating for fleas can be beneficial if you frequently have your dog in the car. Flea larvae can live in the carpet of your vehicle, and it is important to prevent this. Having your car valeted every so often can prevent this too.
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