Planning a road trip with your dog

WED SEP 21 2016

Planning on exploring the great outdoors? There's certainly no shortage of destinations in Australia and what better travelling company than a man's furry best friend! Before you set out on your journey, there are a few adjustments you'll need to make to accommodate your tail-wagger.

Know the laws before you begin

When travelling with our pets, safety is the number one priority. Not only do you want to ensure you and your pooch are safe, most states enforce hefty fines for unrestrained pets. Studies show that an accident from as low a speed as 20 km/h can cause a poorly restrained dog to become a dangerous projectile causing harm to themselves and other passengers.

If your pet is inadequately restrained and is injured from an incident, you may be liable for a fine. Driving with a pet on your lap or unrestrained in the back of a ute are offences that can result in a fine and/or deduction of demerit points in most states.

The Petlife Roadie Harness is a collision approved travelling harness that attaches easily to the seat buckle in your car.

Alternatively you can use the Rogz Landing Strip or Rufus and Coco Seat Belt Attachment. Just be sure that you use either of these with a sturdy harness (avoid plastic buckles) and never attach to your dog's collar.

Once your pooch is all buckled in, make sure that the doors are on child lock (if available). If your car has power windows, make sure you lock these also. When straining to look outside, dogs have been known to accidentally press buttons. One misstepped paw could cause your pooch to get their head jammed or open the window allowing them to stick too far out.

Stop, revive, survive

If you're in for a long trip, frequent breaks will be good for the both of you. Stopping every two hours will help you recuperate and give your pooch a much needed bathroom break. Make sure you bring along a lead in case you need to make a stop near a busy road. Even usually obedient dogs can become skittish in unfamiliar territory.

It's important to keep your pet hydrated and it's worth keeping a water bowl in the car for easy access. The Paws for Life travel bowl and Snooza Water Wallet are collapsible bowls great for travelling.

Lay down a blanket to prevent dog hair, muddy paws and other nasties from getting on your clean car seats and avoid an interior clean on your return. The Kazoo Pet Hair Removers are great at getting rid of pet hair from fabric surfaces.

Does your pet suffer from travelling anxiety?

Make sure you bring some familiar toys and a blanket from home. The Snooza Multi Mat is a great travel bed for a little extra comfort in the car. An adaptil collar can help make the trip a bit easier for highly anxious pets. When warmed by the contact against your dog's skin, these nifty collars ooze pheromones to promote a calm feeling.

Bon voyage!

Remember that safety is the number one concern when travelling with your pets. Unrestrained animals can be a distraction and in some states result in penalty fines. Lock doors and windows to prevent them from being triggered by frisky paws.

Make sure you always have water on hand and don't forget to stop every two hours for a loo break. Pack in your pooch's favourite toys and treats for a bit of home comfort on the road.

Now get out there, explore and have fun!

Posted by Jessica Varley

Owner of a small Chihuahua army and lover of all things pets; when Jess isn't managing her pup Nacho's instagram you can find her writing about all the awesome new products on the Pet Circle website!

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