Start young. Pets who are used to travelling in the car from a young age are much more likely to be relaxed and happy during car trips. This is part of ‘socialisation’. Introduce them to the car as early as you can. Start out with introducing them to the parked car and getting them used to sitting in it with you, then start making short trips. Build up to longer journeys, but make sure they usually end in something fun like getting a treat or a walk. Make these experiences as positive as possible, with lots of treats and fun days out.
Give them time to digest. If your pet gets car sick it’s best not to feed them right before a trip in the car. Give them plenty of time to digest their meal or don’t feed them until after the car journey. You can also talk to the vet to see if they can have medication to settle their stomach if they get car sick even on an empty tummy.
Take a break. If you’re taking your pet on a longer journey, make sure they have a chance to stretch their legs and have a drink. A lot of service stations have dog walking areas or you could break up your journey with a trip to a park or dog-friendly attraction.
Keep them cool. Cars can warm up really quickly and our pets are wearing a warm fur coat all the time! Be aware of your pet’s temperature and pop the air conditioning on or open a window a little to keep them cool while you’re on the go.
Don’t leave pets in the car. Cats and dogs can’t cool themselves down in the same way humans can. They can overheat very quickly if they’re left in a car, and get into a critical condition. Winding the window down or parking the car in the shade is not enough to keep them cool.
Don’t let dogs stick their head out the window. They could knock their head on something, fall out of the window or distract other drivers.