Travelling safely with dogs

Travelling Safely With a Dog

Haven’t travelled far with your dog before? Or are you a new dog owner getting ready for your first holiday by car with your beloved pet? Our top tips for travelling safely with a dog aim to help you and your four-legged family member arrive at your cottage feeling calm and relaxed.  

Dog safely harnessed and sitting down in the back of a car ready to travel.

Vehicle Acclimatisation

If you’re a new dog owner, getting your dog used to travelling by car from an early age is a great idea. This way they should know exactly what to expect, so hopefully future lengthy journeys won’t phase them. 

Begin with getting them into the car in a relaxed manner. They might be happy to jump right in. If not, a dog ramp might make them feel more comfortable and do the trick. 

A well-timed treat as a reward can really help too.   

Two dogs safely strapped into the back seat of a car ready to travel.

Decide Where Your Dog Will Sit

It’s best not to let dogs travel in the front of a car as they can cause distraction. Your insurance may be invalid too due to your dog not being suitably restrained. 

Either securely fasten your dog via a harness to the back seat (preferably the passenger side) and ensure that child locks are set for the windows and doors. Or place your dog in a carrier or crate in the boot of the car. 

As a rule of thumb, measure you dog’s sitting height and their length, then add 5 to 10cm to find a suitably sized crate. 

Dog in a special dog crate for the boot of a car getting ready to travel.

Invest in Window Shades and a Seat Protector

There are a few things that you can do in advance of your journey to ensure that you’re well prepared for all eventualities. 

Buy some window shades (like those used to protect babies) to filter out excessive sunshine and heat when the weather is expected to be hot. Always keep them in the car just in case.  

If your dog is going to sit on the back seat, invest in a protector such as a double-sided boot mat to help spare your upholstery from dirt and damage. 

Two dogs sitting on a bridge

Things To Do on The Day

Making a few simple checks and packing some essentials can make all the difference to your journey. 

Don’t feed your dog within the two hours before a long journey to avoid travel sickness. Where possible give them a good walk to help tire them out. Also, make sure that the area in which your dog will be travelling is a comfortable temperature.  

When it comes to packing, a favourite toy or bedding can help them feel relaxed. Water and a non-spill drinking bowl is also a good idea, while a towel is handy for wiping muddy paws.  

Plan for the event of a vehicle breakdown and recovery, just in case. Check your emergency cover to find out how your dog will travel and pack some food in case you’re waiting around. 

Dog on a lead walking on grass.

During Your Journey

Ensure you plan stops for comfort breaks and allow your dog to stretch its legs and have a drink of water (if they don’t have access to a non-spill bowl during the journey). 

It goes without saying but never leave your dog in a hot car. When the outside temperature is 22 degrees, the inside of a car can reach a sweltering 47 degrees within an hour. In this kind of heat your dog panting won’t be enough to reduce their body temperature and they can suffer from heatstroke.  

Resource from our partners at the National Animal Welfare Trust

NAWT Dog Travel Safety 1


NAWT Dog Travel Safety 2

Contact Us

If you have any questions about any of our cottages or if you’d like some help with your booking, you are very welcome to get in touch with us.

We are always happy to help and go out of our way to tailor your perfect UK holiday.

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Luxury Cottages, C/o WeWork, 55 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2AA