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Top travel tips for car journeys with pets

Written by The Cottage Holidays Team on

dog in car with girl with suitcases

You are really pleased with the cottage you have selected as it accommodates your four legged friend but now you need to get them there safely. It’s important to consider their needs along the way, to ensure they enjoy the journey in the car too.  If they are happy, then the trip will be less stressful for both you and them!

Planning Ahead

It is always a good idea to get your dog checked over at the vets before you go, especially if they are getting on in years or suffer from travel sickness. You will want your pet to be safe; so buy a pet carrier or cage, if you don’t already have one, which will prevent your pet from being loose in the car, this could distract the driver or in an accident injure the pet, you and your family. If you don’t have room for a carrier there are safety harnesses that can be fitted to the seat belt. Take the opportunity to do trial runs so your dog can get used to the cage or harness before the big journey.

Before you leave - What to pack

Ensure they are wearing a collar and tag with their contact details on and keep their lead to hand for when you stop for those short breaks. Essentials you will need at hand in the car may include

  • a water bottle and bowl
  • treats
  • collar and lead
  • dog waste bags
  • old towel - if the weather is wet

In addition, you may want to pack their insurance documents and veterinary book in case anything should occur whilst on holiday.

Tips for a stress-free journey

Your dog needs to feel relaxed for the long journey ahead, an obvious but most important point is to ensure your dog does not get too hot in the car. If travelling in high summer, consider starting your journey early in the morning when it is cool. Make sure you have a window open for them but only open it slightly, you don’t want them to stick their head out! This could lead to an accident or they could get something in their eyes or ears. If the weather is sunny put a blind up. Where possible, have a bowl of water beside them as they are likely to want to drink more than usual, if it’s hot.

When you stop for a break, be mindful of leaving your furry friend in the car especially if it is a hot day, even with the windows open they could still suffer from heat exhaustion which can be fatal.

Let them have something familiar when they travel, like their favorite toy or blanket. Should your pet become unsettled during your journey, try to reassure them by talking in a soft but confident tone. Make sure you give them a chance to go to the toilet before you leave home and perhaps delay feeding until you reach your destination to avoid any mishaps along the way. If you are travelling far, a pit stop along the way is essential and will keep your pet happy and fresh - like us they need regular breaks on a long journey. Treats are always handy to reward good behaviour!  

Relax and have a wonderful holiday together!

The Cottage Holidays Team

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