Safety Fur-st! Get your Dog Ready for the Road

Summer is just around the corner. Before you take your dog out for a road trip make sure you’ve got their safety and comfort covered.

Warmer weather is good for two things: barbeques and adventures with your dog. But with great fun comes increased responsibility. Our top pet tip for safe barbecuing is simple - don’t overfeed them! For going on road-trips, however, here is our checklist for a safe journey with your best friend.

1. Prepare your car

Different dogs will have different needs depending on their size, breed, and special requirements. However, to ensure your dog’s comfort and health while out on the road, the absolute basics are:

  • A separate water and food bowl. There are some nifty gadgets that will let you clip dog bowls to a cup holder, or will hang from the back of a seat, but so long as you have a suitable bowl that your dog can reach, with a towel underneath in case of spillage they should be fine.
  • A functioning air conditioner. It might look cute on TV or YouTube, but letting your dog stick their head out of the window while you’re driving can be dangerous. Make sure you can keep your pet cool in your car with aircon if you can.
  • Enough dog-waste bags. You never know when you may need to make a pit stop.
  • A blanket to keep them comfortable.
  • A toy or two to keep them entertained.

2. Prepare your dog

Has your dog been on car trips before? Are they usually calm or well behaved? Depending on your answer, you may have to set time aside before your trip to get your dog used to the car and to a dog seat-belt or harness.

Once they have had an excited jump around, sit in the car with them and teach them how to relax (and even be bored) while restrained in this confined space. While you might get odd looks from your neighbours, remember to experiment with different sounds, like horn toots, car radio music, and shutting doors, to get them used to the sounds of the car.

After all of this preparation, then take them for short drives around the block to get them used to the movement, too, before going on longer drives with your pet.

3. Prepare yourself

In preparing your car and your dog for car travel, you will have helped yourself get ready, too. While the destination is sure to be worth the effort, this does not mean that your first trip or two will go completely smoothly.

You may get frustrated at your dog’s behaviour initially, but remember to stay calm and persevere – it will come right with repetition. Your dog will be glad at a change of scenery and you’ll be rewarded with a great time with them away from home.