As a nation of pet lovers, we all know our dogs love a good car trip, with their jowles flapping in the breeze, but how do you cater for a great road trip when you're taking a pet along? We show you how.
1. Map out a Dog Friendly Itinerary and Breaks along your Route prior to your trip.
Map your route and create an itinerary of all the dog friendly places in advance before you go. This includes Vet Clinics, Carvan sites, Accomodation, Businesses, Parks, Walking Trails, Beaches, and Dog Friendly Cafes along the way.
On road trips longer than 2 hours, adequate stops should be made to allow dogs and cats the opportunity to exercise, eat, drink, urinate and defecate where safe and for carriers to be cleaned if necessary.
2. Next, research all the places you want to experience that are not dog friendly
For example, write down the dates you might want to go hot air ballooning, to public swimming pools, cinemas, scuba diving, snorkeling, to Art Galleries, out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, walk through National Parks, or visit Zoos. These are all places where dogs can't go.
PetCloud has Pet Sitters, Doggy Day Carers, and Dog Walkers across Australia, so if you want to explore a non-dogfriendly place for the day or evening, booking a Sitter in advance of your adventures will ensure they will be available and ready to care for your pet.
3. Microchip your Pet at a Vet & get an engraved ID Tag
In case for any reason your pet becomes scared and runs off before you have a chance to leash them, having your contact details on their microchip and on an engraved ID Tag on a collar will assist your chances of reuniting with them again. You can get an engraved ID tag from any key engraving shop in a shopping centre.
4. Buy a seat belt adaptor to clip onto the back of your dog's body harness, thread your car seatbelt through, and then click the seat belt in.
Never onto their collar.
5. Pack their leash & body harness
6. Pack a few litres of fresh drinking water, some healthy dog friendly snacks to share, a travel bowl and Poo Bags.
7. A Car Seat Cover with Seat Belt holes, plus clean up items for Muddy Paws, Car Sickness, or Toilet Accidents
8. Know that you won't be able to leave your Pet in the Car
So pack extra Food for yourself and your Pet for along your route. Plan out rest stops in advance. Never leave any dog or cat unattended in a car. Pets die very quickly from heat stress, even in mild weather.
Zylkene is a suppliment made from milk protein for both dogs and cats to calm their anxiety. Blackmores Paw Range have chews called Complete Calm containing tryptophan which calms dogs. If your pet is very anxious about car travel and prone to getting sick, the responsible thing to do is to not take them as they won't enjoy the trip, and they may constantly try to escape. Both are sold by, and recommended by Vets.
Pets can make wonderful Travel Companions - So enjoy your trip and make some memories!
RSPCA Policy regarding containers for Pet Transport
We went to the online RSPCA knowledgebase to look for advice. While they dont't have a specific policy on the appropriate restraint of dogs in cars, they do have a policy regarding containers for transport. The RSPCA says "The container should enable the animal to lie down comfortably in a natural position, turn around, stand and sit erect and stretch with clearance. Another method, for drivers with station wagons, is to put the dog behind a cargo barrier." The RSPCA can also issue fines under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. If an animal is injured because it was unrestrained, owners face up to six months’ jail and fines of up to $5,500. Carrying dogs untethered on the backs of utes can land drivers with fines of $500.
WATCH: Dog Travel & Car Safety
Rules & Regulations
The Roads and Maritme Services (RMS) advises that police can fine a driver and issue demerit points if an animal is causing the driver to be not in full control of the vehicle, or if they are driving with a dog on their lap. The penalties are three demerit points and $425 (more in a school zone).
– A driver must not drive with an animal in the driver’s lap.
– A motor cycle rider must not ride with an animal between the handlebars and the rider.
– Animals should be seated or housed in an appropriate area of the vehicle.
– Dogs on utes should be restrained either via a tether or cage, so that the dog cannot fall off or be injured when the vehicle moves.
– A driver, motorcycle rider, bicycle rider or passenger must not lead an animal, while the vehicle is moving.
Great Examples of Pet Transport Carriers
Larger Dogs in the car might be better in a large crate.
You can also buy a Car Harness With Seatbelt Attachment Included
And what about Cats in the Car?
Read more: Dog Friendly Location Tips