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Top Tips for Driving with Pets

Emily Jackson, 3 years ago

5 min read

  • Guide
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Driving with pets can be a stressful affair (a hot and occasionally smelly one, too). However, the journey will be a whole lot easier if you follow a range of recommendations to keep your furry friends safe and healthy.

Travelling with pets can be a stressful affair (as well as a hot and occasionally smelly one sometimes). However, the journey could be a whole lot easier for all concerned, especially your furry friends, if you try and follow our top tips for driving with pets.

  • Make sure your pet's carrier/crate is well-ventilated and secure. You can do this by removing all leashes and loose collars, and anything else that could be a strangling hazard. Don't forget that The Highway Code says pets must be properly restrained in vehicles otherwise you could face a fine of up to £5,000 if your pet isn’t restrained properly.

Dog Sat in Car
  • If you are planning on going on a long journey in your car give your pet a light meal three to four hours before departure. Plus, don’t feed them whilst in a moving vehicle, but it's important to keep them hydrated. Take water with you in case you can’t find any at your stop off locations. 

  • Never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle, even leaving windows open cars can be too hot. In cold weather it can literally become a fridge.

  • Pets should always be micro-chipped. If they have a collar ensure that it has an address and/or contact number inscribed on it in the event that you do get separated for whatever reason.

  • Do not allow pets to travel with their head sticking out the window as they may be injured by flying objects or debris.

  • In the event of a breakdown keep your pet in the car if at all possible to prevent them running out into traffic.

  • Take regular breaks every 2-3 hours and let your pet have a good stretch and a walk. Oh, and let them go to the toilet too!

  • Animals can suffer from travel sickness. Restricting their vision can help with this issue, such as not letting them see out of a window.

  • Using window shades will not only reduce the risk of sickness, they also keeps the car cool and out of direct sunlight.


Do not travel with pets, if:

  • Your pet is ill or injured (trust us it's not worth the possible clean up job).

  •  If they are a newborn with an unhealed navel.

  •  They have given birth within 48 hours before the beginning your car journey.

  •  Pet is heavily pregnant and there’s a chance they could give birth during the trip.

If you see a distressed animal inside a car and you’re concerned about its welfare, alert the owner first. If this isn’t possible, contact the police or RSPCA.