5 essential tips for surviving car trips with dogs

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From videos of cute cats playing the keyboard to puppies fighting their reflection in mirrors, it’s clear that pets can be both adorable and fun, but what happens once your favourite four-legged friend decides to make a dog’s dinner of your car?

For example, if you’ve taken your pooch out walking in a muddy park and they decide to shake themselves dry all over the seats of your brand new motor, you might not feel they’re so cute anymore. Now we’re autumn is here, there’s a greater chance of rain water and dirt tracking into your car.

That’s why we’ve compiled a quick guide to surviving car travel with dogs. If you have any tips or disaster stories of your own, be sure to share them with us on the Liftshare Twitter or on Facebook.


5. Waterproof your car

Fabric-based car seats are certainly more susceptible to stains and smelly water seeping into the material than leather interiors, but a quick internet search reveals a wealth of waterproof cover options for your seats, floor and boot.

UK retailer Care4Car offers polyester seat covers that are semi-tailored to fit your vehicle perfectly, and the Velcro fastenings mean they can be applied and removed quickly. They’re also easy to clean and the material won’t get you sweating in your seat. The store also offers boot coverings to keep the floor dirt free when your pooch is riding in the back.

4. Create a separate compartment

It’s understandable that not all drivers want to keep their furry pals in cages, but if your dog is acting out on the way to a vet visit or day out, you might want to invest in a cordon or container to keep your car a relatively chaos-free zone.

Halfords has a range of dog crates that offer a lot of space, so your pet isn’t cramped and uncomfortable, but you should be wary of your car’s dimensions before buying one, so it’s advised to measure the cabin’s interior first before taking the plunge. The store also sells mesh guards to stop pups from jumping over from the boot to your back seat.

3. Avoid road trip dangers

Dogs often get restless and start acting out if they become bored, and that’s a potentially dangerous distraction while on the road, especially when taking a cross-country drive on a busy motorway. As always, there’s a few tips and options to help keep your buddy entertained.

It’s important to ensure your pet can’t climb around and force your eyes off the road, as this is incredibly dangerous, and Prevention makes a strong case that dogs should never be allowed to stick their head out of car windows, as dirt and debris can get into their eyes or mouth. There’s also a chance small, flexible breeds can escape through the gap, so play it safe and leave nothing to chance.

2. Gather all the necessary supplies

Prevention has also compiled a handy checklist of supplies and steps everyone should consider when driving with pets over a large distance. Bedding is advised to ensure your dog is comfortable, and it always pays to bring along a favourite chew toy and treats to keep them happy.

It’s always advised to take plenty of water bottles – especially when the inside of your car is hot, and to remember a pack of poop bags. You can also find fold away dog bowls for food and water should you need to make a stop along the way. Just think about what your dog needs before you travel and they should remain happy and cosy for the trip.

1. Remember to take breaks

Lastly, it’s no secret that dogs love to run around and stretch their legs outdoors, so it pays to take regular breaks from the road and give your pooch some time to go walkies while getting some fresh air. Try and get your pet to take a toilet break during these stops, and be sure to keep a firm hold of them when stopping by the roadside, as the last thing you want is for your dog to run out into a busy motorway.

By keeping all of the above in mind and researching tips compiled by other sites, experts and dog lovers, you will have all the know-how to make your car journeys more manageable.

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