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Road trip with your dog

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Irish staycations are the new Costa Del Sol this year as we’re all being encouraged to have an Irish staycation this summer. It’s important we all still try to get a little break away, so why not pick a beautiful destination in Ireland and hit the open road with the whole family? And by whole family, we’re including your furry friend!

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. Here are some of the best accessories you can use on a road trip with your dog to make sure they (and your car!) stay protected.

If you’re looking for inspiration on some of Ireland’s most scenic driving routes, look no further!

dog enjoying the car ride

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 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 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 this 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.

Cooling mat

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 want to venture outdoors for your staycation on the Emerald Isle? Check out our list of Ireland’s best campsites.

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1. https://www.independent.ie/life/motoring/car-news/for-everybodys-car-safety-please-make-sure-your-dog-is-restrained-road-safety-authority-expert-36864653.html
2. To qualify for our penalty points rating all drivers on the policy must be capable of incurring penalty points for driving offenses in Republic of Ireland and you must provide us with a valid driver number for each driver on the policy which can be verified by the National Vehicle Driver File (NVDF). A policy loading may be applied for penalty points which are incurred by you or any driver whose driving is covered by this policy. Discounts or loadings may vary depending on the number and nature of the penalty points incurred.
3. Offer available when you take out a new policy online. Acceptance criteria, terms and conditions apply. All discounts applied subject to a minimum premium of €280 for car.

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