Dogs can be the ultimate co-pilots on a long road trip. They won’t talk your ear off, and never complain when you need to stop to use the toilet. However, 40% of people in the UK admit to letting their dogs ride in the car without restraints. And while most of us don’t think twice about using our seat belt, dogs don’t have that same luxury in the event of a crash. Now, there’s a lot to consider when taking your dog on a long road trip, but safety should always be the first priority. Making sure your companion is secure is easy once you know what needs to be done.
Dog Seat Belts
Yes, they’re real. Now that we’ve moved past that – it’s actually worth considering purchasing a restraint for your dog, especially if they’re going to be in the car for a considerable amount of time. You go to great lengths to purchase insurance for the cost of your vehicle, why not insure the safety of your dog? Not only will it keep them safe in the event of a crash; it can also prevent them from jumping around and interfering with your driving. It’s not uncommon for dogs to distract their driver on the motorways, thus causing an accident. Most harnesses are relatively affordable, and you surely won’t be thinking about the cost when it saves your pet’s life.
Scheduling Your Stops
Another important factor to make sure your trip is a success is to keep your dog on a strict schedule. Being on the road for a while will likely confuse your dog, and making sure it sticks the same feeding and walking schedule is imperative. If your dog is especially anxious to ride in the car, this can also help reduce any stress it might experience. Ensuring that your dog is on a normal schedule will help you focus on the road and making sure you get to the destination in one piece.
Get Adequate Rest
This one is more for you rather than the dog. Travelling with an animal can be exhausting, and the more rest you have, the better you will be able to handle any issues that arise. A lack of sleep while driving is extremely dangerous and even be fatal at times. Your dog will be able to get plenty of rest as you tear down the motorway, so don’t worry about them. Taking the time to make sure that you’re physically and mentally prepared to handle the drive ahead of you should always be something to consider.
Whether this is your first dog-friendly road trip or the 100th, it’s always important to remember some of the basic requirements of travelling with a dog. They are incredible companions and loyal friends, but with that comes a significant amount of work. Keep these tips in mind when packing the car, and make sure you have any supplies you need before you embark on your journey. Ensuring that your dog is safe on the trip will give you peace of mind, and allow you to focus on enjoying the trip with your best friend.