Aside from keeping your dog safe while you travel, you also want them to be happy and comfortable in the car, especially on a long trip. Here are some tips based on my pet taxi experiences that will help you to plan for when we eventually get to travel on holiday with our pets again!

Before you leave

Don’t travel with your pet for at least an hour after they have eaten, and make it a light meal. Ideally they will have also toileted in their normal routine before you head out. Pack an extra bottle of water and a water bowl in your picnic bag. These collapsible ones are great for traveling, since you can easily store it in the seat pocket. You can even make your own!

On the road

There are some great resources for a relaxing trip, from pheromone sprays like Adaptil and soothing music like this:

I’ve used the relaxing music to stressed taxi passengers with varying success. I do know that a lot of dogs seem to enjoy just plain old peace and quiet. Some really don’t like my taste in audio books!

Rest stops

On longer trips, your pet will appreciate a rest stop every 2 or 3 hours to toilet, stretch their legs and have a drink of water. Do keep them on a lead during rest breaks, however well trained they are. We humans are supposed to rest every two hours anyway, so travelling with our pets reminds us to take a break as well.

Remember never to leave your dog unattended in the car while you take a break, as it can heat up pretty quickly in there, even with the windows open.

A note on doggy car sickness

You probably already know if your pet is prone to car sickness, and found out the hard way! It can commonly affect puppies and the good news is that it is something that most dogs will grow out of.

If your pet is often car sick, here are my tips to reduce those events, based on my experiences driving my pet taxi and multiple clean-ups :/

  • As I said above, don’t travel with your pet for at least an hour after he has eaten and make it a light meal.
  • Drive smoothly! Your poor pet is in the back of the car and all that stop/start jerking and tight cornering will do nothing to settle his stomach. Go easy on the gas and brake pedals and take your time.
  • I never get car sick in the driver’s seat, so I guess we could always just teach our dogs to drive, eh?

Safe travels everyone!

Comfort while traveling