Bringing your new dog home you’ll no doubt be a mixture of excited and anxious to make sure they settle in well and know a new chapter in their life is beginning. But as individuals, not all dogs react the same to their surroundings and this especially applies to travelling in cars.
Ensuring they are happy and safe when travelling will not only give you peace of mind, it will keep them safe.
Did you know… almost two in 10 vets have treated animals with injuries as a result of being poorly restrained in the car?
We have teamed up with dogsblog.com official sponsor, Direct Line Pet Insurance, to bring you some top tips for car safety, after all as pet owners their safety is our responsibility.
Preparation is key before picking up your new dog
Speak with your new dog’s rescue to find out if they think your dog may prefer to travel in a particular way.
By speaking with the rescue, you can not only get an insight into how your new dog first travelled to the rescue, you can find out if they have a preference as to how they travel – for example, they might not like confined spaces so a seatbelt would be preferable to a crate while you build trust with your new dog.
Adding words of advice Prit Powar, head of pet insurance at Direct Line, said: “Some owners trust their animals to roam free around the car. However, even the most well behaved animal can become easily spooked or excited, which could distract you from the road, putting both you and your pet in danger. It’s important to adhere to the Highway Code to make sure you, your passengers and your pet is safe.”
Vets recommend a dog seat belt and harness, crate/cage or a barrier in between the boot and the back seat as three of the safest ways to travel.
Reward your pet for good behaviour at the end of the journey with a tasty, animal-friendly treat
Dogs are clever little beings and it won’t take your new dog long to realise that a routine is developing and that as their journey ends there’s a lovely treat to come at the end if they’re well behaved.
Keep a pet travel pack in the car at all times
Save yourself a job before each journey by keeping a basic pet travel pack including a bowl and towel in your car.
Whether you need to clean those mucky paws or keep your dog hydrated on longer journeys, you know you’ll have whatever you need handy without adding a job to your to-do list before leaving home!
If your dog is a nervous traveller, you might also consider adding some puppy pads into your travel pack to lay out before each journey. After all, you might not know your dog’s past and it may take some time to learn all of their quirks and for them to know they have a forever home now.
Never leave your dog alone in the car when it’s hot outside
It sounds simple to say but sadly dogs lose their lives each year due to being left in a car.
RSPCA Derby offer this advice: When travelling always have the air con on for your dog to regulate the temperature. Always park in the shade and never leave an animal unattended in a parked vehicle. On a warm day, the temperature in your car can rise to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) in minutes, even with the window open.