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The Safest Way To Drive With Your Dog

Trips in the car are rarities for many dogs, and common occurrences for others (if you drive out of town to access good walking fields, for example). Whatever the occasion for motoring with your mutt, you need to know how to safely drive with him on board.

So, take this as one of the Prime Directives For Dogs: NEVER LEAVE A DOG IN THE CAR ON A SUNNY DAY. Even with the windows open a crack, there's a real danger that he will overheat, and he could easily die from dehydration or heat exhaustion.

Mixed breed dog in car with seatbelt golden retriever old english sheepdog cross
You can buy dog seatbelts to keep your car hound safe and secure

A new puppy will be unfamiliar with the sensation of traveling in a car, and it’s not uncommon for him to have an accident on the journey. Provide him with a cardboard box or traveling crate lined with newspaper. It’s also a good idea to have somebody else with you in the car to keep the attention of the puppy and to reassure him. Keep the car well ventilated, and make sure it’s not too hot or cold.

Dog Car Sickness

To prevent your dog from being sick in the car, get him used to traveling from an early age, if possible. During the first few weeks of having a new puppy or dog, you should take him out in the car frequently. Vary where you are driving to, so that the dog does not associate traveling in the car with a trip to the vets, for example. Not feeding the dog just before traveling will minimize the risk of them being sick. Providing a crate with hidden treats will also keep him occupied and help him feel at ease.

If you have adopted an older dog who has not had much experience in cars – or has had bad experience – you might not be able to do much about it. Make him as comfy as you can in the car, and make stops on the journey if he seems very distressed. Some dogs go into a semi-collapse, panting heavily and not responding to their own names; and yet as soon as the car stops they jump out and act as if they’ve arrived in the most exciting place of their lives.

A Bulldog traveling in the car
A Bulldog traveling in the car

Getting them back in the car is never fun, but you have to hope that by frequent positive reinforcement you can bring them round to the view that traveling isn’t so bad!

Dog Travel Crates For The Car

Dog crates are perfect for keeping dogs safe when traveling with them in the car, whether it’s a simple trip to the vet or a long-distance on holiday. When buying a travel dog crate you will need to consider the size, not just for your dog but for the car itself. Omlet’s portable dog crates come in a number of different sizes – just make sure that you buy one that fits your car!

Breeds Pug or Mops carry cage in car
Snug Pug in a carry cage

The best travel dog crates have an angled front panel so that you can use all the space of your boot. Look for a dog crate that has a latched front door for safety, a non-slip floor to prevent your dog from sliding around and a removable plastic tray that is easy to clean for when your dog is muddy or has an accident.

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