Whether you are heading north to stay in a Scottish cabin or you’re making a beeline for the quiet scenery of the Lake District, one thing you can’t live without is your pet. It’s become fairly common to take pets on holidays, especially when it’s by car. Of course, the situation is far easier when your pet enjoys a ride in the car, but what if your pet doesn’t travel much or you’re just not sure how he’ll cope with a longer trip in the car?
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Useful Tips for Holiday Car Travel with your Pet
You don’t just want your pet to enjoy the ride, you want him to travel happily and safely. You don’t need to be worrying about frequent stops to calm your pet down, so consider these tips.
Before you can expect your pet to handle a long distance drive they need to get used to trips in the car. So, if the only time your pet climb in the booth is to go to the vet you’ll need to get some practice in to settle him. Remember, you should start with a crate to ensure your pet is safe and secure and unable to interfere with safe driving.
You can start by sitting with the dog in an open booth and offering treats and pets to make him feel comfortable, then proceed to a closed booth. You really want your pet to associate being in the car with positive things, so feed them dinner there if you can. The process should begin with the engine off and you can work up to turning it on when the boot is closed. Then go on short trips.
You want to train your pet to wait for your order before they get out of the vehicle. Carparks are dangerous, so instil manners in your pet so they know to wait for you. This is mostly for dogs who need to be put on leads before you proceed. With a cat, you’ll likely have them in a carrier.
You can start this by making your dog wait before you allow him to exit the vehicle. Attach his lead and then give him a treat for waiting. Then you can give him a command to jump down. Make him wait again while you shut the boot and lock the car. You can practice this in your drive or in a quiet parking lot for a change of scenery.
- Avoid Feeding Before Trips
Ideally, you should avoid giving your pet a big feed before a journey, this will reduce the likelihood of travel sickness. Of course, you may need to feed them on the road, but plan it in line with your own extended meal stops to ensure there’s time for their meal to settle.
You wouldn’t let a person sit in your vehicle without using a seatbelt, would you? While your pet may hate being cooped up in a crate for long periods of time it is far safer for them to be secured in the event of an accident. It also prevents any issues with them interfering with your ability to drive.
- Accident Kit
Humans need first-aid kits, while pets need accident kits. Thin plastic bags, newspaper, and kitchen roll. You may want to include air freshener, too.
- Comfort Breaks
Don’t make your pet wait for a comfort break longer than they would at home. Take a break to stretch your legs and allow them to do the same. Don’t pull over on the motorway, though, make sure you plan your route and factor in pet-friendly stops.
Make sure they have regular access to fresh drinking water, too.
- Don’t Leave Them in The Car
Don’t leave your pet unattended in the car, especially when it’s warm. Your car can quickly become an oven and even cracking the windows isn’t sufficient. Ideally, you should set off early morning or late at night to avoid overheating.
- Heads Inside
Sure, it’s adorable when your dog is hanging out the window, but it can be damaging to his ears and eyes. There’s also potential for him to be injured by other vehicles. Something else to consider is that if he bites someone who happens to be passing you could be reported. Yes, the inside of your car is considered a public place thus the Dangerous Dogs Act applies.
- Breakdown Service
You might want to ensure that your breakdown service allows your pet to travel with you in the cab if you require a tow. According to the RAC and AA, customers should alert the company that they have pets with them when reporting their breakdown.
Don’t forget to pay a visit to http://www.voucherbin.co.uk/stores/kwik-fit/ to take advantage of discount codes and vouchers to ensure your vehicle is in top condition ahead of your long drive.