The UK is a nation of dog lovers with over 8.5 million pooches in Britain.
Over 13 million drivers were expected to take to the roads over the bank holiday, many of which, with their beloved pets.
However, driving with an animal can be stressful and difficult for not only the animal but the driver and passengers.
Drivers are also at risk from fines for driving without due car and attention or distracted driving if their animal is not restrained.
Driving without due care and attention carries a penalty of either a disqualification, or between 3 and 9 points.
You can also be faced with a fine up to £2,500 depending on the nature of the incident.
Animal expert Jennifer Dean, a nutritionist with pet food brand Webbox Natural, has collated a number of tips which could help make the journey smooth.
1. Prepare your pooch for the car:
Jennifer says: “Dogs can suffer from travel sickness in exactly the same way as humans. And having a poorly dog in the car is no fun for anyone. Before a big trip, take the time to get the dog used to the car, even with the engine off. Then go on a few small journeys to get your pooch acclimatised.”
2. Feed smart:
“You need to be slightly clever about feeding your dog before a long car journey. It’s fine to feed dogs their normal breakfast before travelling. But what’s vital is giving them ample time for digestion – for the ‘food to go down’ – before you set off. I would say you want to allow at least an hour for this. However, if the dog is typically sick during travelling they may be best to do so on an empty stomach and have their food after the journey.”
3. Bite-back at doggy vomit:
“Ginger can also help with doggy motion sickness, the same as in humans. So owners could try giving dogs a couple of ginger biscuits, or treats with ginger in them. Lavender is also good to help relaxation in dogs that are tense or don’t enjoy travelling. Things like a lavender scent in the area of the car where the dog sits, or again a treat that contains lavender/chamomile can be useful, or having a toy specifically for the car to keep them distracted.”
Drivers could be penalised for distracted drivign or driving without due care and attention
4. Get the treats out:
“Food isn’t typically necessary during a long journey, but treats could be given to reward good behaviour in the car, or if a journey covers a normal mealtime – so the dog has a small amount of food, but not enough to potentially cause sickness during the journey.”
5. Get the air-con on:
“You need to keep your vehicle nice and cool. And on long journeys, especially on hot days, owners should make sure they stop to allow their dogs to have a drink and a toilet stop.”
6. Buckle up
“One of the major things is keeping your dog secure in a crate or in the boot with a barrier to prevent them getting into the back seat. If they are in the back seat, then it is the law that they must be secured by a dog seatbelt. Taking these simple measures keeps everyone safe – from the driver, who risks losing control if forced to brake, to the dog who can easily be propelled into the front seat in a crash. And letting your dog stick its head out of the window is a BIG no no.”