Most important things to know about taking your dog in a car

Recently, I took Luna to the beach for her first ever dip in the sea. We had a great time but we had to travel there in the car. Here you’ll find the most important things to know about taking your dog in a car so you can have lots of fun trips out.

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dog restraints?

Research has shown that one in five dog owners regularly travel with their dog unrestrained in the passenger seat. But is this okay?

Rule 57 of the Highway Code has the answer. Do you remember what it is? Here’s a reminder in case you’ve forgotten.

When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars
picture of a dachshund

So whenever you take you dog (or any other animal) in your car, you need to make sure they are restrained safely. For a dog, this is usually wearing a harness with a seat belt attachment, or using a crate in the boot.

dogs and cars in summer

Please never leave your dog in a car on a warm day and especially not on a hot day. The temperature inside your car can rise incredibly quickly. If it is 22 degrees outside, your car can reach 47 degrees within an hour. Once your dog starts to get too hot, she will get dehydrated. There is also a high chance of developing heat stroke if you don’t take action.

If you see a dog trapped in a car who appears to be in distress, call 999 and ask for police.

If you see a dog in a car who doesn’t appear to be distressed yet, try to find someone else to locate the owner (so you can stay with the dog). 

added extras

When travelling in the car, it is always important to bring some water for your dog. Make sure to stop frequently to offer your dog a drink as well as a toilet break. A tip for keeping water cool on hot days is to use a thermos as they are good at keeping drinks cool as well as hot.

Also, you might be nice and cool with your air conditioning on but the cool air may not be reaching your dog in the boot. If your dog gets too warm while you’re driving, it may be worth investing in some sunshades for your windows.

I hope this helps you take your dog in a car safely so you can enjoy more days out together. I’d love to see pictures of your dogs on their days out, why not post your pictures below?

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