How to Drive with Your Dog: K9 Travel Tips

Golden Retriever Looking Out Of Car Window

If you’re a dog owner, then we know that you’re pretty much inseparable from your pooch – it definitely comes with the territory. If you’re heading off in the car for a UK staycation this summer, and you’ve found a pet-friendly place to stay, you may well be taking your hound along for the ride. But if you’re packing up the car for driving with a dog, how do you make sure that they’re safely strapped in, and just what do you need to take?

Get Your Dog and Car Ready For The Road

Once you’ve decided to take your furry companion on holiday with you, you’ll know it’s not as simple as just packing for yourself and heading out – it’s a case of getting both them and the car ready as well.

When your dog travels with you on the road, you might have trouble keeping your car’s interior clean, so it’s wise to plan ahead. If your pet malts then think about giving it a good brush before you head off, or you can use a grooming glove, which can then be stowed away for the holiday.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that your interior is well protected, so that no fur or fluids get onto the seats. One of the best ways of keeping things clean and tidy is to fit a dog seat cover or boot protector, which is not just functional, but also comfortable for your canine.

Safest Way For a Dog to Travel

Just like when you’re cruising along on the road, you’ll need to do everything you can to make sure that you’ve found the safest way for your dog to ride in the car. Rule 57 of the highway code states: “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”

There’s a selection of products on the market for keeping your dog safe when they accompany you on a journey. You may decide that it’s best to strap them into their seat, like any other passenger. To do this, you can either opt for the traditional choice of a car harness, which is available for breeds of all shapes and sizes, or a pet hammock, that combines a protective layer for your upholstery with a secure seatbelt for your pooch. It’s ok to let your dog sit next to you in the passenger seat, but make sure that they’re strapped in, the seat has been moved well back and the air bag has been disabled on that side.

Clipping Dog Car Safety Harnessy harness.

If your dog is on the larger side, or just prefers to spend the journey in the boot, then fitting a cargo guard is an ideal approach. They’re also available in a smaller size as a pet barrier, and so it can be set up between the front seats and those behind.

A method that many dogs might be familiar with when it comes to time in the car is in a pet carrier or metal crate.  They’re available in multiple sizes, and some canines might prefer to spend time in one, especially if they are accompanied by a favourite blanket or toy to keep them calm.

Pack Pet Accessories For Pit-stops

As we all know, when you’re out on the road in the summer your car can very quickly heat up. Air conditioning or an open window can help to cool things down, but if you’re driving with your dog, the Animal Trust suggests that its best to direct any air conditioning vents away from them, and to make sure that the window’s only cracked and not wide open. You don’t want your dog hanging their head out while you’re motoring along.

It’s important to pack plenty of water, so that your pet stays hydrated while you’re on the road. A travel bottle is often a good way to give them a quick drink. It’s worth scheduling regular pit-stops not just for you, but also your pooch.


Everyone needs to stretch their legs while on a journey, and it’s one way to keep a dog calm in the car. Make sure that you come prepared for your breaks. You’ll need to make sure that you’ve packed a retractable lead to clip onto a collar or a walking harness. There’s a chance the weather could even turn while you’ve stopped, so it might be sensible to bring along a weatherproof coat just in case.

There are always extra pet accessories that you can pack, such as a toy or a ball, just so that when it’s time to get back out on the road, your dog’s had enough excitement, and is ready to settle down for the ride.

Before you head off for your journey with your dog this summer, discover your essential pet accessories here at Euro Car Parts, not only will you keep your dog safe, but you’ll keep them happy too.