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How to travel with your pet dog

How to travel with your pet dog

We share a special bond with our four legged friends, it is not surprising considering that our dogs illicit the same chemical reaction in our brains as our own children. So when we are going for a drive or a road-trip we want them to come and enjoy the ride with us, obviously.

With that being said, it is not as simple as just loading them in the car and setting off, there are certain preparations to make in order to ensure our furry friends’ safety. In this article we will explain how to make the journey as safe and enjoyable as possible for both you and your beloved pooch.


Before anything, you need to think about how you are going to restrain your dog. It is incredibly dangerous for you and the dog if your canine buddy is left free to roam about the car. Not only could your buddy distract you by trying to get up close and personal for some loving attention, but you or the dog could be seriously injured if you have to brake suddenly. There are a few options available to you when it comes to making sure your pawed companion is kept safe in the car, these are:

Pet Crate

A pet crate is one of the best options for long distance, however, you should make sure it is secured properly as a crate flying around the back of a car at high speed is bad news for your dog and yourself.

Harness / dog seat belt

Car safety harnesses for dogs work the same as those used for walk time. They are worn around the chest of the dog and attach to a car seat belt, this keeps your dog restrained on the back seat without making them uncomfortable.

Doggy seat

You can, if you wish, purchase a safety seat made specifically for dogs, think of a car seat for a child. The safety seats are usually bucket style seats with restraints or a padded box. Like a harness, they are to be installed on the back seat of your vehicle.

SUV/estate car with large trunk

If you don’t like the sound of the options above and have a vehicle with a large trunk such as an SUV or estate car, you can also consider installing a grate to separate the trunk space from the rest of the vehicle. Just remember to put a couple of blankets, or your dogs bed, in with them and that they aren’t restrained so any sudden braking or sharp turns could result in your four-legged buddy being injured.

Now that you know how to keep your paws-itively fantastic companion safe during the journey here are some tips to help keep them calm until you reach your destination or rest stop.

Exercise before the trip

One of the best things you can do before setting off is to take your dog for a long walk with plenty of playing. This will tire them out which, in turn, means they are more likely to be calm or even sleep throughout the journey.

Chew toys, blankets and/or bed, water

No matter where you are going with your dog, on a road trip or just to visit friends and family, it is always a good idea to bring some essentials along. This includes a couple of chew toys, blankets or their bed, and plenty of water.


No matter how much they beg or how longingly they stare at you, it isn’t a good idea to feed your pooch before traveling. No one wants to clean the aftermath of a doggie accident or vomit.

Rest stops

It is vital that you stop for a rest every hour or so when traveling with a dog, this gives you both the chance to get out and stretch your legs. It also gives your dog a chance to go to the toilet if needed and drink some water. On your rest stops, you should keep your dog on the leash especially if you stop near a road.


As tempting as it may be, don’t let your dog hang their head out of the window. Although your little buddy enjoys it immensely, it isn’t very good for them. There is a good chance of your dog developing an eye, ear, or lung infection or even worse if they are struck by something whizzing past.

Don’t leave dog in car

This should go without saying, but DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR. Regardless of the time of year leaving your dog in the car can easily result in its death. You may also return to your car to find that a passerby has smashed your car window (remember that some states have laws which allow this) or called the police to assist the dog. If you truly have no choice but to leave your dog in the car unattended make sure that the ac/heating is left on (depending on the time of year), they have water, leave a window slightly open, and complete whatever you have to do in 5 minutes or less.

Avoid unnecessary comforting

If your precious pooch is distressed or anxious during the car trip it will be profoundly tempting to comfort them. It is better for your dog that you don’t do this, comforting them will only reinforce the idea that trips in the car are something are something distressing. The best thing to do is reward them with praise, treats, and an extended play session once you reach your destination.

Being able to travel with your beloved pet can be a joyous experience in itself but you also don’t have to endure the soul crushing experience of leaving them behind.

So there we have it, our guide to traveling with your dog. Did we miss anything? Do you have any tips or advice for traveling with pets? Let us and our readers know!

For more information, or if you have any questions about anything mentioned in the article give us a call on(206) 361-2641, visit us at Scott Sherman Seattle, 9234 Greenwood Ave N,Seattle WA, 98103, or book an appointment with us online. The friendly and knowledgeable staff here at XXXX will be more than happy to help!


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