Hit the road this summer: top tips for traveling safely with your pet

With continued disruption to air travel expected this summer, there’s never been a better time to vacation in the UK – and many of us will be taking our furry friends with us.

While a road trip is fun and exciting for us, it can be a totally different experience for our pets, and PDSA, the veterinary charity for animals in need, advises pet owners to take extra precautions before you go on an adventure.

PDSA Veterinary Nurse Nina Downing said: ‘Being able to take your pet with you on holiday can be wonderful for you and them, but making sure they are safe and comfortable is key. when he travels. Long car trips can be tough on everyone at the best of times, but there are a few things you can do to make sure your furry family member is happy and safe.

Check out Nina’s top five tips for keeping your pet safe on the road below:


“Ideally, it’s best to get dogs used to being in the car from an early age so that they feel comfortable on long journeys. Start by sitting in the parked car to get them used to it, then move on to short rides and move on to longer rides. Always end your ride with a reward such as a healthy treat, a walk, or playtime.

“Before you leave, give your pooch a chance to have a drink and stretch his legs – after all, being locked in a car for long is not comfortable for anyone. Be sure to plan plenty of stops on your trip so your dog can go to the bathroom and get a drink.

Attached to the safe

“Most of us don’t realize that our pets shouldn’t be loose in a car, even if we’re holding them. The Highway Code states that drivers “must ensure that dogs and other animals are properly restrained” in the car. Thus, if you are involved in a car accident and your pet is not restrained, the accident could be perceived as being due to your distraction by your pet, which can be considered dangerous driving. and could invalidate your car insurance.

“Fortunately, there are plenty of places to buy seat belts, harnesses and special pet carriers to keep your four-legged friend safe. Take a look at our range of pet travel at the PDSA pet shop to inspire you.

Keep them cool

“Cars can quickly reach sweltering temperatures on the hottest days, so if necessary, consider leaving early in the morning or in the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day. Try to keep the car at a comfortable temperature – sunshades and cooling mats are a good idea in the summer months.

“Remember to check the temperature in the back of the car because, although most cars have excellent air conditioning for the front passengers, the rear seats or the trunk can heat up very quickly and become dangerously hot for your pet. As tempting as it may be, avoid letting your furry friend stick their head out of the window while driving, as this can be very dangerous for themselves and other drivers. Never leave your dog in a car in hot weather, even for a few minutes.

Hydration is key

“Keeping your pet hydrated throughout your car journey is essential, so be sure to pack plenty of water for your trip. You can even find spill-proof water bowls specially designed for furry friends on the go.

Travel sickness

“Pets can suffer from motion sickness like us, so taking short training trips before a long trip will get them used to the movement and help them avoid getting sick. Avoid feeding them just before a car ride, but if they have car sickness even on an empty stomach, talk to your vet to see if they can offer medication to calm your pup’s tummy.

“Just like humans, some dogs feel less nauseous if they face forward during travel, rather than looking out the side windows – sun shades can be a great solution to help block their view. Some people prefer to use crates for safety reasons, and they have the added benefit of helping dogs feel comfortable – as well as containing vomit if your pup gets sick.

PDSA is the UK’s largest veterinary charity. We are on a mission to improve the welfare of companion animals through prevention, education and treatment. People’s Postcode Lottery player support helps us reach even more pet owners with vital tips and information. www.pdsa.org.uk

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