Across much of the UK the next two weeks brings spring half term and with it the likelihood of longer trips out with your children and pet.

Whether that’s off on holiday, to the attractions or time visiting family and friends, it’s always worthwhile remembering a few simple rules to make the journey enjoyable for all.

5 steps for better car journeys with your dog

Five tips to make long car trips more enjoyable for your family:

  1. Like children and other car occupants, it is better that your dog is restrained with a suitable harness. This will often also anchor to the seat belt fixing. Specialist seat covers should allow access to these anchor points.
  2. Make your dog comfortable. In the same way as booster seats are necessary for young children because they ensure safety and comfort, it is advisable to invest in a suitable travel crate if in the boot or a booster seat for smaller dogs or a hammock or seat protector for larger dogs. For both children and pets, it then becomes their space. Also make sure that there is sufficient ventilation so they remain at a comfortable temperature
  3. Try not to put your pet on the seat behind the driver’s seat. Like children, if your pet can see you easily and your reactions, they are likely to be happier. The back of your head may prompt a nudge for attention, which of course you might not see so is unexpected! Some dogs become less nervous if they’re sitting alongside you in the front seat. This is not really an option with a medium or larger dog given the need for effective restraint.
  4.  Not feeding for 2 hours before the journey reduces the likelihood of travel sickness. Use this time instead to walk or exercise your dog before the trip as this will reduce their energy levels. On long journeys also remember to factor in suitable breaks to avoid accidents!
  5. Do keep your dog’s mind engaged or distracted by providing chews and other toys and treats so they allow you to drive without fretting.

So it seems whatever you already do for your kids to make long journeys enjoyable, you need also to apply to that other family member- your dog.