Driving Home for Christmas

Tis the season for travelling, and for many of us this involves having our furry friends as company in the car. As dogs are important members of the family, we want them to be involved with the yearly festivities and road trips are a part of that so we need to ensure it’s a safe journey.

Even if you are only travelling a short distance, it is important that you have all the necessary equipment in case of any emergencies. Providing your dog with plenty of blankets, layers and even a jacket will stop him from getting too cold. Also, make sure that he has a sufficient amount of food and water available in case you do need to stop or get stuck in the snow.

As humans, we all know the dangers and warnings of not wearing a seatbelt in the car, but for our dogs, it isn’t that simple. Unfortunately, our cars don’t come with special doggie seatbelts so investing in the correct equipment, such as a safety harness or a dog car cage, will help to protect him as much as possible. These will also be ideal if your dog has a habit of climbing in the front seat as it will keep him in the back of the car and avoid any distractions whilst you’re driving.

We also need to protect our cars as well as our dogs so if you have a nervous dog or a dog that isn’t familiar with being in a car then you need to be prepared for accidents. Ensure you have a good amount of paper towels, wet wipes and cleaning products together. In order to prevent any stains or smelly odours, purchase a waterproof protector for your seats and flooring. The more relaxed and familiar your dog is with the car the fewer accidents he will have, so allow him to spend some time in the car before venturing off on your journeys. Try putting some of his favourite toys and treats in there to make him feel more comfortable. Dogs also get travel sick so you can get some sickness medication from your vets if you find that the motion of the car is disrupting to your four-legged friend.

Take care when driving in winter conditions and pay attention – driving with your dogs is like having a small child in the back. It is your job to ensure their safety at all times as they are not able to fully take care of themselves.

Other top tips to remember when travelling with your pooch this winter:

 

  • Antifreeze is a must have in winter but it is also poison for dogs so keep this well away from him.
  • Try giving him his meal time 3-4 hours before you set off to avoid any motion sickness
  • Make sure you allocate enough time for pit stops as he will want to stretch his legs and go to the toilet
  • Ensure that you don’t leave your dog in the car for too long as this can lead to frostbite and dehydration.