Travelling with dogs is a bit like travelling with young children. Most are perfectly OK with the process, but even so it can go a whole lot more smoothly if you work your trip around their needs. Even short trips can benefit from a bit of preparation and the longer the planned trip, the more helpful advance planning can be. Here are 3 top tips (and a bonus tip) for pleasant and safe car trips for you and your dog.
Use a pet carrier
Pet carriers are the equivalent of car seats for children. They hold your pet securely and comfortably in the car. This has two benefits. Firstly it reduces their ability to distract you when you are driving. Secondly in the event of an accident, their safety is vastly increased. These days most people have grasped the idea that seat belts need to be worn on short trips and young children always need to be in car seats, no matter how little time they spend in the car. Pet carriers should be thought of in the same terms – check out http://www.petcarrierverdict.com/ for great reviews on these carriers.
Splash-proof dog bowl
If your dog is likely to make anything more than the occasional, short trip in the car, a splash-proof bowl is probably a good investment. Ordinary bowls can be something of a liability in cars as it is so easy for the movement of the car to make them spill their contents. This can result in a wet dog, wet bedding and wet seats. Splash-proof bowls are designed to keep the water where it is supposed to be even if the driver turns a corner or has to brake suddenly. This means that the dog can have water available at all times, rather than having to wait for proper rest stops.
Large microfibre car-cleaning cloths
These are essentially the same as the microfibre towels sold to backpackers – only usually they’re a whole lot cheaper and they have a wide range of pet-friendly uses. The obvious one is if your dog gets wet when out of the car. It can be uncomfortable for a dog to sit in a car with wet hair (much the same as it is for humans). Using a hair dryer on a dog in a car is usually rather impractical (if the dog will let you do it at all) but a good, brisk rub with a microfibre towel can shift a lot of water. They can also go on the base of pet carriers, in case of accidents and if there is an accident anywhere, they are great for clearing up.
For longer trip
For longer trips, it’s a good idea to pack a copy of your dog’s medical details in paper form (as opposed to just an electronic copy on a smartphone). You also want to double-check their ID tag (and if they don’t have one, then it would be advisable to buy one) to ensure that the details are up to date. If your dog wanders off in an unfamiliar place, you stand a far higher chance of
getting them back quickly if the person who finds them just has to call your mobile quickly. Likewise ensure that the details on their microchip are also up to date.