Safe Car Travel With Your Dog Travelling with your dog involves more than just putting them in the back seat and driving off, especially if you are driving long distances or plan to be away for a while. Before hitting the road, make sure that you have everything you’ll need to keep your dog happy and healthy. We have put together a guide to safe car travel to help you and your dog on the journey. Travel Essentials Below is a list of essentials to pack: Travel papers Food, water and a bowl Lead and bags Grooming supplies Medication and a pet first-aid kit Pack a favourite toy or pillow to give your pet comfort for the journey Any dog in a public place must wear a collar with a tag with your details on – It’s the law Keeping your dog safe on your travels Don’t allow your dog to ride with his head outside the window as they could be injured by passing objects. Even if your dog is a happy traveller, they shouldn’t be allowed to roam free within the confines of the car. That could be fatal for your dog in the case of an accident. An unrestrained dog could even be the cause of an accident. Keep your dog in the back seat in a crate or with a harness attached to a seat buckle. Dog crates & Barriers Dog crates are great for car travel, assuming that the size of your dog isn’t a limiting factor. When choosing a crate for your dog, it should be large enough to allow the dog to stand up completely inside and turn around, but there shouldn’t be so much room that the dog can slide around. Ensure its securely fastened in place and well-ventilated. Introduce the crate to your home a few weeks before you travel, so your dog become accustomed to the crate if they don’t usually use one. If a crate won’t work for your dog, there are other options. A harness that is fastened to a seat safety belt is a great alternative. It provides the dog some freedom, but restrains the dog from roaming freely. Be sure to buy a harness that’s specifically designed to be used with safety belts and is a snug but not tight fit. Barriers can also be effective restraints, and are great for securing a dog in an open area, such as in a van. But ensure that the barrier you choose can be securely attached to the interior framework of your vehicle, and that it’s rated to restrain the weight of your dog in an accident. Your Journey Plan for frequent stops for toilet and exercise breaks. Just be careful not to have an escapee on your hands when you let your dog out of the car, by always having them on a lead! NEVER leave your dog in the car in the hot sun – even if you open windows and park in the shade as temperatures can climb to levels that aren’t dog-friendly very quickly. With the proper equipment and with planning, there’s no reason to leave your best friend behind when you hit the road. And if you’re taking your pet abroad ensure to read about the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).