Since 2020 staycations have become more popular. With the better weather we get during the summer months, the coast of Ireland may be mistaken for the Costa Del Sol. Apart from discovering some scenic driving routes on our beautiful island, one of the big benefits of opting for a staycation is the opportunity to bring your pets.
Safety is number one when it comes to driving, and you need to take precautions with your pets in the same way you do for yourself and your children. If you’re planning on having your dog travel in your car this summer, there are some things you need to ensure before setting off on the journey. From accessories to safety measures, here are some tips for transporting your dog in the car.
Car safety harness
If you’ve got a medium or large dog, a car harness is a really good idea to keep them secure in your car. Just clip it to your car’s seat belt and away you go. You can clip your dog’s leash straight onto this harness too so no delays in getting them out for a walk when you arrive.
Did you know that in the event of a crash at 50km, a 25kg unrestrained dog, i.e. a Labrador, which is roughly the same weight as an average six-year-old child can become a projectile of up to 600kg which can seriously injure a person or cause a fatality.1 Dogs can also jump out of your car window while driving, which could end up in a pedestrian or cyclist being injured or killed. In addition, if your unrestrained pet hits a hard surface in your car during an accident, they’re 14 times more likely to receive spinal damage or four times more likely to be fatally injured.
It’s vital to protect the animal and everyone else so make sure your pet is secured in a dog harness, a pet carrier, or behind a metal guard for everyone's safety. The most suitable restraint depends on the size and temperament of your pet.
Pet water bottle
Pulling over for a quick leg stretch or pit stop? It’s important to keep your dog hydrated, especially when they’re inside your car for hours, so make sure to bring a bowl and some water for them. If you want to ensure your dog can stay hydrated in between pit stops, try a pet water bottle. It holds water for your pup and releases it into a little bowl attached to the top for them to drink from while you’re on the road. Just squeeze the bottle to let water into the bowl, while the remaining water inside stays clean thanks to the one-way valve.
Another way to make sure your dog doesn’t overheat in the car is a cooling mat that they can sit on to regulate their temperature. This can be used inside your dog’s car seat, placed under them while they’re harnessed in, or outdoors during any pit stops you make.
Animal first aid kit
This one is essential if you’re planning to hike, go for walks or do some camping with your dog in tow. The pet first aid kit can neatly fit into your glove box or boot. It contains tick tweezers, a flea comb, a muzzle, alcohol swaps and bandages. Dogs love to get into all kinds of nooks and crannies, so it’s a good idea to be prepared.
Car seat protector
While we all love taking our dogs on a road trip, there’s nothing more tiresome than having to clean their fur and muddy paw prints off your backseats! Try a pet seat protector that hangs from your car’s headrests and covers the entire backseat of your car to keep it clean.
You can zip it open down the middle to make room for any non-furry backseat passengers too! Alternatively, an old tablecloth or big rug you have spare at home can do the job.
If you’re planning a road trip with your dog or pet this summer, don’t forget to check to see if your car insurance policy is up-to-date and breakdown assistance is included in case of an unexpected breakdown.