It’s fair to say, for many a dog is much more than just a pet – they’re a part of the family! So now summer is just around the corner and family day trips and staycations are back it’s likely your pooch will be joining you when you’re out and about. It’s important to ensure your dogs are safe on your journey. See our list of things you should consider when travelling with your dog:
Firstly, The Legal Bit
Rule 57 of the UK Highway Code says “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly.”
Keep Your Dog Restrained
Whether you prefer your dog to travel in the boot of your car or on the back seat, they must be safely restrained. A dog that is left loose and free to roam in the car is a safety risk to not just yourself but other drivers too.
If your dog is used to being crated you can choose to transport them in a metal or soft fabric travel crate. A dog guard or wire grill for the boot is another option. If your dog likes to travel amongst their humans, you can attach a special seat belt to their harness so they can change position without moving too freely around the vehicle. This will secure them should there be any sudden movements.
If your dog likes to ride upfront, be sure to move the seat as far back as possible and switch off the passenger-side airbag.
Make Them Comfortable
Comfort, space and practicality are all things to be considered when looking for a vehicle your dog can safely travel with you in. Giving them plenty of room to relax is essential for making the journey smooth for your dog, particularly if they are an anxious traveler. Choosing a vehicle with a large boot such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS or the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate gives them plenty of space to stretch out and grow used to their home for the next few hours. If you prefer a smaller vehicle, such as a smart EQ forfour make the back seat a home from home for your dog. Add blankets and their favourite toy to their travel area too to help them relax during the journey.
Keep Them Cool
Wearing a fur coat all year round can make those warmer months tough for our pooches. Having the windows slightly open will allow fresh air to circulate the vehicle. Having the smells from outside coming through can also help anxious pets feel more relaxed. You may even wish to use window shades on your journey. Usually used for babies and young children, your dog may benefit as they provide shade and help to keep temperatures down in the vehicle. Having plenty of drinking water available is also a must on a journey with your dog.
And it goes without saying; never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day.
Take Regular Breaks
Take a look at your route beforehand and plan some dog friendly stop points along the way. Not all service stations will be suitable for dogs as they can be quite noisy so finding a park or grass area on route may be a better option.