There’s nothing I love more than planning a few days away travelling somewhere new, are you like that? I get all excited making it my mission to get the best deal possible! Having Molly, my very loving and very energetic Springer Spaniel. Makes me more mindful of planning a family break which we can all enjoy. So when the lovely people from More Than Insurance sent me some great top tips travelling long distances with dogs & dog friendly holidays. I couldn’t wait to share them with you. 🙂
The following advice has been given by Karen Wild, an Animal Behaviour Psychologist PawPrintPets.com
1. What’s the longest amount of time a dog should be in a car before you let them out?
On a long car journey you should stop every time you think your dog needs the toilet. This depends on the age of the dog. A general rule of thumb is to make sure you plan your journey with a stop every hour or so. This way, you can take your dog out to stretch their legs a little and check that they are happy.
Never leave your dog alone in the car.
Always leave water available whilst you are travelling, in a special non-spill travel bowl.
On a hot day on the way to the beach. The car might become extremely hot for your dog especially if you know there is no air-conditioning, even whilst you are driving! Provide shades over the windows (the ones designed for children can work well) so that your dog isn’t suffering in direct sunlight.
2. What’s the best way to prepare a dog for a long journey?
Ensure your dog has toileted before you set off, and give them a comfortable bed that is padded enough for them to lie comfortably without rolling around.
It’s a good idea to pack extra chews and food so that you can occupy your dog whilst you travel. Ideally he will sleep, but sometimes chewing a favourite tasty chew toy can help your dog to settle down in the early part of the trip. Pack several different sorts so that you can swap them over from time to time.
On a city break, remember that your dog may be overwhelmed at the sight of heavy traffic. It’s a good idea to make sure your dog is used to these things or use a window shade so that he doesn’t feel trapped. Try to give him time to adjust, by stopping and visiting a service station or café from time to time.
Dogs learn quickly and it is wise to take them on a practice trip, whether by car or train, a short distance away. Before taking them on a long journey to the beach or countryside. This way you can prevent any problems arising such as motion sickness but teaching your dog that journeys always lead to somewhere enjoyable.
3. Always remember that your dog needs to be microchipped by law, and wearing a well-fitted collar and identity tag, should the worst happen and he get lost.
4. What’s the recommended way to position a dog in a car?
Ideally your dog will be able to rest and sleep, and often travelling in the back is the safest place. However, some dogs prefer to be nearer their human family, and travel on the back seat. Most of all the dog must not be a distraction to the driver of the car, so it is important that they are not placed anywhere where this might happen.
5. Should dogs be in a crate in a car? Or have a seatbelt?
By law, dogs must be secured in a moving vehicle. This is to make sure the driver does not get distracted. Crates can be great for dogs as they act as a private ‘bedroom’ for them to enjoy. You can teach your dog to enjoy being in their crate within the house first, which you then transfer to the car. A crate can have a lightweight cover draped over the top which can block out distracting movement from outside the car, helping your dog to relax and rest.
Seatbelts work well for dogs that are happiest being closer to you, perhaps on the back seat.
There’s some great top tips travelling long distances with dogs above from Karen. We’ve always taken Molly everywhere in the car since she was a puppy. I really think this has helped, as we’ve never had any problems. She just jumps in and settles straight away. I think Molly just knows she’s going on an adventure and loves to be with us wherever we go!
There’s a list of dog friendly holiday accommodation with some great places to visit on the More Than website and there’s also a tool called #Dog Days Out where you just type in your postcode and how far you’d like to travel. Tap on what kind of day out you would like, either countryside, seaside, forest, or park. Just see what it comes up with, it’s brilliant for all dog friendly places to visit. If you’re looking to go away anytime soon please check you have adequate cover for your dog, just in case off any mishaps! check this out for a great deal on Pet Insurance 🙂
Happy travelling with your Dog 🙂 I’d love to hear of any great places you’ve taken your four legged friend 🙂 if you live in Lancashire there’s so many beautiful dog friendly places to visit this is one of my favourite family days out with Molly 🙂
Author: Mandy J McDonald
A UK Family Lifestyle & Days Out Blogger – Sharing our mini family adventures & my love for all home and garden inspirations with lots of tips & tricks!!!