Bringing your furry family member on a holiday road trip adds to the fun for the whole family but its important to plan ahead.
By planning safe car travel with your pets, you’ll ensure that not only is your furry friend safe and secure, but that the car trip is more comfortable for everyone.
gotU Road Assistance has shared a few handy tips for safe pet road tripping:
No cuddles in the car – it’s against the law
In many parts of Australian, its illegal to have a pet sitting in your lap while you’re driving (much like children), so they’ll need to be strapped in by a tether or housed in a dog carrier or crate. If you’re caught travelling with your pet not properly secured, depending on the state or territory, you could be fined – and if your beloved pooch was injured in an accident as a result of not being harnessed correctly, you could even face jail time. So, in the spirit of keeping them safe and your family out of trouble, it’s important to make sure you have a secure option in place:
– A transport crate is a great option to keep your pooch safe while on the road. It should be structurally sound, well ventilated and securely fastened in place.
– A dog harness is a popular way to keep your pet secure in the car, while still giving them a little bit of freedom to move around.
– Cargo barriers are a viable option if you have a large vehicle like a van or SUV as they are adjustable and can be easily installed and removed.
Have a plan if you break down
If your car breaks down and you have your pooch in tow, you’re going to want assistance quickly – especially if its hot, so it’s really important to make sure you’ve got a plan in place for any roadside emergencies. You can download the free gotU roadside assistance app prior to your trip for peace of mind that assistance is available 24/7, should you need it. You can even track the journey of your roadside assistance provider as they make their way to you through the app, so you’ll always know how far away help is – pretty handy when you have your pet with you!
You should always pack a first aid kit before you set off in case of an emergency to keep your pet, and your family, safe.
Car essentials to keep your pet happy
It may sound obvious, but don’t forget to pack plenty of water – at least two to three litres. A portable water bowl is also a good idea, so your pooch can keep hydrated during your journey.
If you’re anticipating warmer weather, make sure your vehicle’s air-conditioning system is functioning or look into purchasing a cooling blanket that can keep your pet’s temperature down and maximise its comfort.
Treats and toys are a must to keep your pet entertained during long car journeys.
If your pooch is basket-trained, bring it along. It will provide your pet with a familiar sleeping spot, whether that’s in the back seat of your car, hotel or family member’s home. Sometimes a new environment can be over-stimulating, so this is a sensible option if you want to give your pet quiet time to rest.
Don’t forget, travelling is just one part of your trip – the real fun starts when you reach your destination!
If you’re heading on a trip by car this summer and are still planning your itinerary, gotU has compiled the top pet-friendly destinations to consider for you and your furry friends:
– Pearl Beach is a beautiful off-leash beach on the Central Coast, NSW, less than two hours by car from metropolitan Sydney and located close to other popular hotspots like Terrigal Beach and Avalon Beach.
– South Beach in Fremantle is one of WA’s finest dog beaches, with plenty of parking. It is also renowned for having Instagram-worthy sunsets, so be sure to have your camera phone ready!
– Nudgee Beach, Brisbane is one of Queensland’s best pooch-friendly beaches, with plenty of space to roam around – it even has a dog swimming area for your pet to have a paddle.
– Henley Beach in Adelaide is one of South Australia’s most popular on-leash dog beaches, with several pooch-friendly cafes along the Esplanade close to the beach. Local eatery Malobo even has an Instagram account called @dogsofmalabo dedicated entirely to featuring its four-legged customers!
– Sandown St Beach (also known as Brighton Dog Beach) in Melbourne is one of Victoria’s most popular dog beaches as it is off-leash 24/7 all year round, so Fido can run free at all times.
Last but not least, don’t forget to check the details of your destination online before visiting, as in some pet-friendly areas dogs are only allowed off-leash at certain times throughout the day.