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Dog-friendly car travel tips for your 2021 staycation

With international travel still uncertain, there’s been a surge in demand for staycations this year, which means our dogs will be spending more time than ever in cars.

Travelling with dogs can be a stressful time, so if your pooch is a ‘ruff’ traveller, here are some top tips to make sure your dog stays safe and sound while travelling this summer from the experts at Canine Cottages.

  1. Do your research

Before taking your dog away, it’s important to do your research on the area you’re thinking of visiting. It’s a good idea to check out dog-friendly attractions, pubs, and events before your trip and discover which walks and activities you’d like to do once you get there. This way, you avoid any nasty surprises of visiting places that don’t allow dogs!

  1. Be prepared

It’s always best to be prepared in case the worst happens while you’re away. Having pet insurance is the way to ensure you’re covered if anything happens to your pet, so it’s a good idea to scope out where the nearest vet is too, just in case.

Skoda dog seat belt
  1. Secure your dog when driving

Many people let their dog roam freely in the car, but having a crate, harness, or guard for your dog to sit in comfortably will make the long journey safer and more comfortable for you and your pet. Not only that, but it can also help stop your dog distracting you while driving – or worse, escaping to sit with you while at the wheel.

  1. Stop for frequent breaks

Just like us, dogs need to have breaks during long journeys too. Make sure you take frequent stops every few hours so your dog can have a bathroom break and stretch their legs – it may even help them sleep while in the car. Just remember to keep them on a lead when stopping for a break.

  1. Never leave your dog alone

Perhaps one of the most important rules when travelling is to make sure you never leave your dog alone in the car. Even with a window cracked open, cars become extremely hot in the summer, and it can take just 15 minutes for a dog to suffer a fatal heatstroke. Even in cooler months, leaving your dog alone can leave them vulnerable to theft, so never leave them unaccompanied.

  1. Take plenty of water and treats

Having fresh water during the journey is essential for your dog to keep them hydrated, so make sure you give them some during your breaks. If you are travelling for many hours, make sure you have food to hand, and reward your dog with treats if they’re being good too.

  1. Help them relax

Being in a new environment can be stressful for dogs, so certain things like sticking to the same feeding and walking routine as you have at home can really help your dog relax while away from home. Make sure you also give your dog plenty of love and cuddles.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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