Top Tips for Taking Your Dogs on a Road Trip These School Holiday

Top tips for taking your dogs on a road trip these school holidays

 More and more Aussies are choosing to take their dogs on road trips – and Dogs Australia urges dog owners to heed some key tips for a safe and stress-free adventure.

“There are four key considerations when travelling and holidaying with your dogs: comfort, safety, health and happiness,” explains Hugh Gent, Dogs Australia President. “When you’re taking your family dog with you these school holidays, it’s crucial to plan ahead – for the travel itself and for the holiday destination. When your dog is happy and healthy, they cope better with travel and you’ll all have a great time.”

Dogs Australia’s 8 top tips for calmer car trips:

  1. Explore and book pet-friendly accommodation, caravan parks or campsites.
  2. Exercise your dog before the trip: it’ll help get rid of any pent-up energy.
  3. Carry plenty of water and food for the trip.
  4. Ensure your dog is microchipped and your contact details are up to date, to help with identification should they get lost.
  5. Take the necessities: dog bedding, snacks/treats, food and water bowls, toys, collar with ID and leash, tick prevention treatment, medications, first-aid kit, dog shampoo, towels/mats/blankets to sit on and to protect the car, poo bags. (And if your dog suffers from motion sickness, ask your vet for the best remedies, and remember to pack wet wipes and plastic bags… just in case!).
  6. When travelling by car:
  • Give them a dedicated, comfortable space in the car. They should be able to stand up, turn around comfortably and lie down in their space in the car.
  • Secure your dog in the car (e.g., use harnesses, a pet seat belt or crate). You’re legally required to ensure they’re secured while in the car.
  • Provide mental stimulation for the journey (e.g., toys and chews that will keep them occupied)
  • Make regular pit stops, generally every 2-3 hours. It gives your dog (and you) a chance to stretch your legs, eat/have a drink, and go to the loo.
  • Never leave a dog inside a warm vehicle, even with the windows open.
  1. When you arrive at your destination, take your dog to a local park or beach to let off steam and let them explore their holiday destination. They’ll be bursting with energy after the car journey.
  2. Familiarise your dog with the holiday property so they can get acquainted with its layout and boundaries. And if there are gates, check they’re closed and there are no gaps they can escape through.