Tips for travelling with your dog

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How good is your dog in the car? Can you spot the signs that they are stressed by the loud noises & strange motions?
Sometimes it’s very easy to see when your dog is unsure about the car. Pacing & barking are the most obvious but for some dogs, their reactions can be much more subtle.
They might drool more, pant, have a furrowed brow, hold their ears back or frequently lick or yawn. These can all be signs that your pet isn’t too happy about being in the car. It can also make them more unpredictable & react to certain things in unusual ways. All good reasons to ensure this unpredictability does not interfere with your driving or distract you.

How can you help a stressed dog?
Like many things there is always an element of testing involved. What works for one dog may not for another but here are some things you could try;
  • Synthetic equivalent or a natural pheromone with stress-relieving qualities e.g. Pet Remedy spray
  • Specially made clothing that applies gentle, constant pressure on the torso is marketed to produce a soothing effect on stressed dogs 
  • Lavender aroma therapy has also been found to help calm anxious dogs 
  • For some pets, prescription anti-anxiety medications or sedatives may be the best alternativeKeep your dog safe in the car
As we’ve said, a usually very well behaved dog can react unpredictably when in the car. To prevent the obvious distraction to your driving, they should always be secured in an area away from the driver & front passenger.
A dog harness can help but we’ve heard customer complain that their dog can easily get tangled in the harness & independent crash tests on a range of products showed them to break quite easily. Our suggestion would be to fit a car dog guard either on the back seats with your dog in the boot or on the front seats with your dog on the back seats.
Besides preventing dangerous distractions & helping to keep areas of your car clean, take a couple of minutes to multiply your dogs weight by your cars speed. Whichever figure you end up with be shocking as this is the force that could be applied to you or your passengers in an accident or even under heavy braking, if your dog isn’t secured!
It’s also a good idea to check your cars airbag system & if possible de-activate any where your dog travels.
Finally if you can, start young & get your dog used to travelling & learn that it is a great experience.
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