The car is a low-stress means of transportation for dogs. It is safer to take your dog on an empty stomach. For example, it is strongly recommended that you do not give your dog any food twelve hours before the trip to prevent him from vomiting inside the car. You should also plan to buy small bags to collect his poop.
If the basket and the cage are well suited to small dogs, prefer a grid or a separation net placed at the back of the vehicle for medium and large dogs. To travel with your dog in the car in optimal conditions, turn on the air conditioning if it's hot to provide your pet with the most comfort. If you don't have air conditioning, avoid leaving in the middle of the afternoon when it's hot and consider installing side sunshades on your car windows.
Crate, basket and carrier bag :
This is the best method for small dogs as it will help them to better withstand the road and they will be less likely to vomit. Buy a crate that is proportional to the size of your dog, not too small and not too big. It's best to choose a crate that matches the size of your dog's usual basket.
Contrary to popular belief, a carrier is a reassuring space for your dog. But be careful not to place it on the passenger seat, even with a belt. In case of shock, the pressure of the belt would violently expel the dog from the vehicle. If possible, place it between the seat and the front seat or on the back seat, placed high to reduce the oscillations and secured with a seat belt to prevent it from falling or moving, which could make your dog sick.
Net and screen divider :
If you have a spacious trunk with room for one or more dogs, such as a minivan, station wagon, 4x4, crossover or van, install a screen or net between the front and back of the vehicle to isolate your dog from other users. This way, your dog will be comfortable and safe, without being tied up or locked in a cage, and will not interfere with driving. For greater comfort for your dog, don't hesitate to buy dog beds or dog blankets to place in your trunk.
Attention: on the other hand, if you have a small trunk completely isolated from the passenger compartment, absolutely avoid putting your dog there! He could feel oppressed, which will be a source of stress for him.
Other accessories for your dog in the car:
It is also possible to hold your dog with a short leash without a muzzle or a padded harness to protect your dog in case of sudden braking. If you have a small dog, it is still ideal to buy a 2 in 1 car seat and bag, which has a fastening belt to ensure its safety on the road. There are also folding ramps for dogs suffering from arthritis or osteoarthritis, or as a preventive measure for older dogs to preserve their sensitive joints, to make getting in and out of the car safer for your dog.
A break every two hours:
If you're going on a long trip, plan to give your dog regular breaks every two hours so he can stretch his legs, hydrate or relieve himself. You should always keep your dog on a leash when you take him out. Do not feed your dog, unless it is a long trip, as this could make it nauseous. In this case, it is better to give him small quantities. In hot weather, choose a shady spot.
No dogs allowed in the car:
The Highway Code makes no reference to dogs and the legislation is rather vague regarding them. However, the dog must not be allowed to move around in your car, especially when it is in motion. Indeed, the owner must be able to remain in control of his vehicle in all circumstances.
It is strictly forbidden to leave your dog lying on the seat or on the ground. The dog must be transported in a secure manner. It must be tied up or transported in an adapted space. A dog "wandering" in the car can be a real danger to the driver if it distracts the driver, prevents him from seeing the road properly or from having access to the vehicle's controls and from being able to maneuver or press the brake or accelerator pedals instead of him.
Moreover, if you are stopped with a dog wandering freely in your vehicle, you are liable to a 2nd class fine (22€) on the grounds that your dog may constitute an obstacle to your freedom of movement or your field of vision. Even a 4th class fine (90€) if the police consider your dog as an unrestrained passenger like any other.
Note also that a dog that barks continuously can also be dangerous for the driver's concentration or mood.
A cool, airy but safe car:
If you open the windows of your car, make sure that your dog cannot climb out and that no one can reach inside the car to open the door from the outside. That's why we strongly recommend that you purchase a side window safety grill. It secures the dog while allowing air to circulate in the vehicle. Note that letting your dog stick his head out the door can cause him to suffer from ear infections, conjunctivitis, chills or irritation due to dust getting into his eyes, nostrils or ears.
By taking care of your pet during your car trips, your travels will go smoothly and your vacations will be even better!