For some pet parents, a trip is no fun if the four-legged members of the family can’t come along. But traveling can be highly stressful, both for you and your dogs. Before you set off, we have some tips to help ensure a safe and comfortable journey for everyone.

First things first – make sure your pet is microchipped for identification and wears a collar and tag imprinted with your name, phone number and any relevant contact information.

Traveling with a fur kid or two by car involves more than just loading the dogs in the back seat and motoring off, especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time.

If you are going on a long trip, practice with your dog by taking him or her on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car. If your dog’s primary experience with car travel is a short trip to the veterinarian, then a lengthier, unfamiliar route may cause more anxiety than excitement.

Keeping your dog safe and secure during the trip is vital whether you are driving down the road to the pet store to pick up your monthly supply of Complete Pet or if you are headed off to Uvongo for the weekend. It’s very dangerous to have loose dogs in the back seat – or worse, in the front seat with the driver. You’re probably aware that a loose dog roaming the car can be a distraction, but did you also know that your dog could become a very dangerous projectile if you were in an accident?

Crates are a great option, but it should be large enough for your dog to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. Secure the crate so it will not slide or shift in the event of an abrupt stop. If you won’t be using a crate, don’t allow your dog to ride with his or her head outside the window, and always keep your dog in the back seat in a harness attached to a seat buckle.

If you are going on a long trip or if you take your dog in the car regularly, prepare a travel kit to keep in the car. Bring food, a bowl, leash, a waste scoop and bags, grooming supplies, medication and first-aid items. Pack a favourite toy or blanket to give your pet a sense of familiarity. Be sure to pack plenty of water and avoid feeding your dog in a moving vehicle.

Never leave your dog alone in a parked car. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked car can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop very quickly.

We hope these car travel tips have given you the tools to make sure that your car trips with your dog are not only fun, but safe too!

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