Travelling can be stressful for anyone, including your dog. Even if your canine pal is used to riding in your car or taking a trip on public transport, there is still a great deal to think about to make sure that they stay calm and safe. Fortunately, there’s quite a few things that you can do to make your journey as smooth and stress-free as possible. Here’s our top tips for travelling with your dog.
Microchipping is a legal requirement for all dogs in the UK, but when was the last time you checked what personal information your dog’s microchip provider has on record? Whenever you leave your home with your dog you run the risk of being separated. A microchip can drastically increase the likelihood of you being reunited, but only if your details are up to date. Before your journey, check with your microchip provider to ensure that they have your current address and phone number – just in case! A collar and tag is also a legal requirement in the UK, unless you have a working dog! You can read more about dog tag requirements here...
It’s never a good idea to let an animal roam around a moving vehicle and your dog is no exception. In fact, the law states that dogs travelling in the front or rear passenger seat of a car must be suitably restrained. Depending on how you are travelling, you may want to use a carrier or crate to keep your pet secure. They also have the added benefit of being an additional layer of protection in the event you are involved in an accident and you can use a crate pad or blanket to make your furry pal comfortable. If your dog isn’t crate-trained already, you’ll need to crack this ahead of your journey. Alternatively, you can buy harnesses that will secure your dog in the vehicle, without the need for a crate.
Whether your destination isn’t too far away, and you are coming home the same day, or you are gearing up for a much longer journey, your dog will need certain provisions to keep them healthy and happy. Plenty of time before you go, sit and plan a list of everything that your furry friend will need. This could include:
You should also make sure you’ve got the number of your vet stored in your phone, just in case you need to contact them at any point during your journey.
If you are going to be travelling for quite a while, it’s important that you remember that your dog is going to want to have a comfort break or two too! Plan where you going to stop to let them do their business to ensure that they aren’t caught short, and you are left picking up the poop!
If your dog seems particularly anxious about travelling, you could help them to feel calmer and more in control by getting them used to what to expect. Gradual exposure is a tried and tested technique for overcoming many types of stress. Let your dog sniff around your vehicle, sit inside without moving and get used to the sound and vibrations of the engine. Start with small journeys around the block and they should quickly start to feel comfortable when in the car. If you are travelling on public transport, try shorter journeys first.
Got a journey planned? Check out our collection of travel products for your dog.