Driving with your Dog


Everything You Need to Know About Driving with Your Dog...

Because dogs make everything better, including travelling!

Can't bear the thought of boarding your four-legged family member as you head off for a holiday? You don't have to! With a little extra planning, your dog can travel with you. Here is a guide to ‘nearly’ everything you need to know about travelling with your dog.

Take a Practice Run

Before you hit the open road, first pay a visit to your veterinary surgeon to make sure your good boy is up to date on vaccinations and is well enough to travel. Once given the all clear the clear, it is a good idea to go on a few short practice trips before you embark on the real thing. This will give you a chance to see if your dog suffers from motion sickness or exhibits any nervous or anxious behaviours about travelling.

In the weeks leading up to the trip, take him/her on a few car rides to fun places like the dog park or a favourite pet supply store so he starts associating the car with something positive. If he/she shows signs of nausea (drooling, excessive lip-licking, shaking, vomiting), ask your vet what the is best thing to do.

Pack with Purpose

Practice cannot possibly prepare you for everything, though, and for that reason you will want to make sure you've packed accordingly. While your list will depend on your dog's individual needs, here is a good place to start:

  • Lead and collar with up-to-date ID tags
  • Food and water (Tip: Now is not the time to try a new food!)
  • Rubbish bags (Tip: In the weeks before your trip, teach your dog to relieve himself on multiple surfaces - not just grass!)
  • Dog bed and blankets
  • Vaccination certificates
  • Worm/flea/tick treatment information
  • A new toy and a couple of old favourites to keep boredom at bay
  • A recent photo of your dog
  • Treats
  • Collapsible bowls (Tip: Let him get used to them a week or two before you travel.)
  • A pet seat-belt or car seat and hammock to keep him safe and your seats protected
  • A pet first aid kit

Take Plenty of Breaks

Rest stops are essential for a peaceful trip. Experts suggest you take a 15- to 30-minute break every four hours so your pup can do his business and stretch his legs. (You may need to stop more often for smaller dogs or if your pup has a hard time holding his bladder.) Remember: Dogs love routine, so the closer you can keep to your regular walking and feeding schedule, the better.