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Tips for safe car journeys with your dog

Car journeys can be a stressful experience- for both you and your dog! However, they are often unavoidable, especially with the holiday season upon us. A long, hot car journey isn’t a lot of fun for anyone- especially for those with shaggy coats! Just like humans, some dogs travel much better than others but by following these simple tips you should be able to hit the road with confidence.

Adequate restraint

Many people are unaware that in certain countries there are laws governing the restraint of dogs when travelling in cars. Although you and your dog may well feel comfortable loose in the back seat, you could actually be committing a crime. Check your local laws, but even if restraint is not required we suggest that you seriously consider using it for the safety of both you and your dog. Whilst some dogs are quite happy travelling in a crate others prefer more freedom, and for these there are now a wide range of car dog harnesses available. You can shop for these and a huge selection of other accessories, from toys to dog beds, at

Provide plenty of water

Keeping your dog hydrated is very important- but it is surprisingly easy to forget whilst you are on the road. There are many different travel bowls available, from simple water dispensers to cleverly designed non-spill bowls which only allow a small amount of water out with each lap. We strongly recommend anyone regularly travelling with their dog invests in one of these products.

Keep their heads in the car

If your dogs are anything like ours, then they will love to stick their heads out the window! And whilst this may seem like a harmless enough activity it is actually the cause of many injuries each and every year. Not only could serious injury be caused by a passing vehicle or overgrown shrubbery, but damage can also be caused to their ears and eyes by detritus floating around in the air.

Light meals

Unfortunately many dogs suffer from motion sickness, and there can be few things more unpleasant than undertaking a long journey accompanied by the smell of dog vomit! A great way to prevent this is to avoid heavy meals, before and during the journey. Small snacks are a great way of keeping your dog happy and behaving well whilst travelling but save cracking open the tins of dog food until you have arrived.


For some dogs travelling can be extremely stressful and extra help may be required. Sedation is not an option that all dog owners feel comfortable with, but if it is something which you need to consider then get in touch with your vet and discuss what options may be available.

Hot cars

It is almost unbelievable that this message needs to be reiterated- however, each year dogs are still dying because they have been left alone in hot vehicles. Please help ensure that no dogs ever suffer in this most horrific manner.

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