dog-road-trip

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Dog travel tips: Everything you need for a road trip with your pooch, from pet hammocks to car sunshades

Plus practical tips too

Gareth Herincx

The staycation business is in for a bumper summer as more Brits than ever plan to holiday in the UK because of continued travel uncertainty - and that means thousands of extra dogs will be travelling in cars this year.

From keeping your dog safe to making sure they're cool and calm while you're travelling, here's what you need to know before hitting the road with your dog, from the pet car accessories that you need to the rules of driving with a doggy passenger.

MORE: 8 best cars for dogs and their owners

7 tips for travelling with your dog

1. Make sure you know the rules

Rule 57 of the Highway Code states that animals should be restrained “so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly".

If you're stopped by the police and they think your dog is a distraction, it's possible that you could be charged with driving without due care and attention, fined as much as £2,500 and given nine penalty points. Invest in a dog seat belt harness, a dog cage or a dog hammock, and fit a dog guard to make sure your pet travels safely.

dog-hammock

Streetwize hammock rear seat cover, £12.99, Argos

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2. Drive smart

Dogs are just like any passenger and they can get motion sickness, so adjust your driving style accordingly. Keep it smooth and read the road ahead, avoiding sudden braking and tight cornering.

3. Take a break

Make sure you make frequent stops during your journey. Just like you, your dog needs to go to the toilet and stretch its legs. Travel breaks are also a good time to keep your dog hydrated by offering drinks of water.

MORE: The new driving changes in 2021 every motorist needs to know

4. Food on the go

If you're embarking on a long journey, you might have to factor in a stop to feed your dog. Even if the trip doesn't coincide with a routine meal, take small treats to reward your dog for good behaviour.

5. Stay cool

Hot weather can be particularly challenging for pets, especially in cars. Try to travel during cooler times (early morning/late evening).

dog-water-bottle

Portable water bottle for dogs, £4.49, eBay

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Take plenty of water and make sure your dog is offered it regularly during the journey - a portable dog water bottle is easiest. Switch on the air conditioning, or if it's not effective in the back, partially open windows. Never leave your pet alone in your car and try to park your vehicle in the shade so it's not roasting, and invest in a window shade to guard them from the sun.

car-shades

Brica by Munchkin car window shade, £7.99, Amazon

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6. Home from home

Being in a new environment can be stressful for dogs, so sticking to the same feeding and walking routine as you have at home can really help your dog relax while away from home. If your dog has a soft bed, consider taking it with you, so they have their own space and there's somewhere familiar to sleep.

SEE: 9 holiday destinations you'll never believe are in the UK

calming-dog-treats

Happy Garden hemp bone biscuit treats, £19.99, Amazon

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7. Keep calm

It might be worth considering a natural travel calming spray, such as Pet Remedy. Its blend of essential oils helps to calm the nerves of anxious or stressed pets, and it's sprayed in the car or directly on bedding. You can also buy motion sickness tablets for dogs; ask your vet for advice.

 

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