10 tips for traveling peacefully by car with your dog

Before starting your car trip with your dog, you must check several points and make sure you are in compliance.

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Dogs have specific requirements and needs that must be taken into consideration so that their journeys on the road are comfortable and well tolerated.

Before leaving

Before starting your road trip with your dog, you must check several points and ensure that you are in compliance with the rules and laws in force.

Your dog must of course be tattooed or identified by a microchip, as required by law. He must also be up to date with the mandatory rabies vaccine. If your destination is in a foreign country, you must ensure that you have completed all the administrative formalities, as some countries require the presentation of documents for dog travel, such as a vaccination record.You should also find out about the rules applied by the country of destination before leaving.

Also know that depending on the region you are traveling to, there may be particular he alth risks for your dog, including vector-borne diseases transmitted by parasites swarming in your destination region. It is therefore best to inform your veterinarian in advance of your trip so that he can advise you or prescribe prophylactic medication.

Driving safely with your dog on board

Whether or not your dog is accustomed to car journeys, you must take all the necessary precautions so that his presence on board does not represent a danger for you or for other passengers. Dogs, especially when the car journey is long or the weather is too hot, can get excited, agitated and cause accidents. To avoid any risk, you must use certain equipment that prevents the dog from interfering with your conduct.

Among these, the possibility of attaching the dog with a leash or a car harness. However, make sure that your dog is not hindered by the leash and that he retains a certain degree of freedom of movement.

Tie up your dog is mandatory by law and a police officer can fine you if your dog is free in the car. The presence of an untethered dog on board can, in fact, be considered as an element preventing you from being “constantly in a state and in a position to carry out conveniently and without delay all the maneuvers incumbent on the driver”, as the imposes article R412-6 of the Highway Code. If you do not want to tie your dog, you can install it in the back by locking the doors and installing a net or a separation grid that prevents it from coming to the front and interfering with your driving.

Another solution for safe riding: the dog crate. This is generally not badly experienced by dogs if they are used to it positively beforehand

Air the car

During the trip, be sure to keep the car interior ventilated and cool. Dogs do not tolerate high heat, especially in a car on the highway. If your car has air conditioning, turn it on but not too low a temperature. If you don't have air conditioning, roll down the front windows if your dog is in the back. You can also lower the rear windows, but not completely, but just enough to create a draft, but without allowing the dog to stick his head out, which could cause him an ear infection.

Take breaks

When you take long car trips, it is recommended to stop at least every two hours to rest. These breaks are all the more useful when traveling with your pet. This is an opportunity for him to get some fresh air, stretch his legs, relieve himself, quench his thirst, play and spend time with his master.

Bring enough food and water

Throughout the trip, your dog will need to eat and drink enough. If you are traveling in summer, when it is very hot, bring a cooler to keep the water cool. However, do not give him water that is too cold to drink, as it could make him sick. Check the water temperature before giving it a drink and temper it if necessary.

For food, plan a sufficient stock of mash and croquettes or the usual type of food. Also provide treats, preferably the ones your dog likes the most, as you may need to coax him to calm him down at times or reward him for his patience. If your dog is prone to car sickness, however, avoid feeding it before the trip and ask your veterinarian for advice on prescribing motion sickness medication for your pet.

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