10 tips for travelling with a dog in the car

Get kitted out for any little accidents, so you can concentrate on avoiding not-so-little accidents

Yellow dog sitting by a car and getting ready to travel

Like humans, dogs react to car journeys in different ways – some love it, but others get queasy or stressed out. Agitated pups can pose a safety risk, and it’s certainly no fun travelling if your dog’s sick in the car. Read our 10 tips to ensure dog car safety so that the journey is both fun and safe for everyone.

1. Ease into it…slowly

If you’re planning on a long road trip with your furry friend for the first time, take baby steps leading up to the journey. Start to travel with your dog whenever you go on shorter car trips so that both of you know what to expect for on a long drive.

2. Buckle up your pup!

When transporting a dog in the car, it’s vital for both their safety and yours that you securely restrain them. Never allow them to stick their heads out the window – it might look adorable, but they can get injured by other vehicles.
Car safety is put at risk by drivers who are distracted by unrestrained dogs, and your dog might hurt themselves or other passengers if you have to brake quickly. When it comes to buckling up a dog in the car, you have many options to choose from. Whether you use a strong harness or a specially designed crate, never forget to buckle up your dog before driving.

3. Carry water

Dogs can get dehydrated on long car journeys. Pack a portable water bowl and refill it with bottled water regularly.

4. Stop Regularly

If you’re keeping your dog properly hydrated, they’ll need to relieve their bladder. Regular stops will help prevent accidents in the car and can also help relieve your dog’s motion sickness.

5. Reduce and avoid dog motion sickness

When it comes to motion sickness, dogs aren’t so different from us – some get queasy in the car, some don’t. Avoid or reduce your pup’s motion sickness by keeping them in a forward-facing position. Motion sickness can also cause dogs to drool. Keep some Plenty kitchen paper in your car to save its interior from any sickness or drool – and dampen it to wipe down any stained areas.

6. Take the right kit with you

A few smart essentials will make car travel with a dog much easier. Along with your usual supplies for doggy outings, and some water in a bottle, make sure you pack your dog’s favourite toy to keep them happy.

7. Dog sick in the car? Pack for clean-up

Accidents happen, especially when travelling with your dog. The best you can do is to be prepared. Keep some absorbent, strong paper towels on hand, like Plenty, so you can wipe up and get back on the road again in no time.

8. Keep dog car safety in mind when parked

Don’t leave your dog alone in a parked car for long periods. If you need to step out for a moment, always leave a window partially open to prevent your pooch from overheating.

9. Keep your dog calm

A happy dog in the car means less chaotic behaviour that could pose a risk to road safety. Be sure to pack their favourite toy or blanket to comfort them. If possible, try to have someone in the back of the car to keep an eye on your pup.

10.Travel with your dog to places they like!

If you only ever take your dog in the car when you go to the vet or on trips where they don’t get to stretch their legs, they’ll always be reluctant to get in the car! Intersperse their least favourite car trips with fun ones: try taking your dog in the car to go to a different park once in a while or to the countryside for a walk.

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