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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

dog road trip
Updated: 14 July 2022
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Fancy planning an adorable getaway with your precious pup? Staycations in the UK are becoming increasingly popular and who better to travel with than a canine companion? If you're planning on travelling via car, there are some important things to note about roadtripping with dogs before you set off.

MORE: 8 best cars for dogs and their owners

From keeping your dog safe in the vehicle to ensuring they're relaxed and cool enough while driving, here's what you need to know before embarking on your holiday. 

WATCH: How to keep your dog cool in a heatwave

8 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, £13, Argos


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: 8 hypoallergenic dog breeds that won't shed

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).

water bottle amazon

Portable water bottle for dogs, £12.99, Amazon


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, £9.49, Amazon


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

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.

dog hemp oil

Dog Calming Hemp Oil, £9.89, Amazon


8. Remember your checklist!

According to Bought by Many's canine experts, this could include:

  • Any prescribed medications (adequate supply for the entire duration of the trip and several days' surplus supply)
  • Collar, leash, harness
  • Crate
  • Bed/blankets
  • Toys
  • Any necessary pet medical records
  • Your veterinary practice contact information
  • Food 
  • Freshwater 
  • Water bowl (or Tupperware that can act as a bowl)
  • First Aid Kit for your pet
dog first aid

Dog First Aid Kit, £29, Amazon


Get yourself organised and tick all the items off your checklist with a dedicated notebook. We love this adorable pooch-friendly purchase! Ensure you have all your dog-friendly gear and gadgets ready and have a trip to remember! 

letterfest notebook

Dog Notebook, £18.95, Letterfest


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