How to travel with your pets in the car

Travelling with animals can be difficult, but not impossible.

If you can't bear to go on holiday without your beloved pet, there is always the option of taking them along on the journey. If you do plan on travelling with your faithful companion, consider the following suggestions.

Prepare them early

Start by taking them on short regular road trips from ages two to seven weeks. Your pet is never going to love car travel but with time they will grow more tolerant.

Get a carrier

Try using a plastic carrier that has been lined with a towel for comfort. Secure this to a seat using the seatbelt. You can also use a harness to keep animals strapped in. You can secure the carrier using a seat belt, but you may also opt to use other restraints for extra security. Make sure the carrier is placed on the flattest possible surface out of direct sunlight. Try not to put the carrier too close to the window. The sight of the world speeding by outside will cause your pet to panic.

Carry water

Be sure to bring your pet regular food on the trip to save it from getting sick. Make sure it has regular access to water. 'No spill' water bowls are easily available in pet stores, from vets and online.

Rest stops

Stop regularly for rest periods and allow dogs to stretch their legs outside with a short walk on a leash.

Keep them comfortable and calm

To help keep your pet calm, play the radio softly to drown out surrounding traffic noises and be sure to speak soothing words to your pet throughout the drive. If you are about to embark on a long road trip with your pet, you may want to talk to your vet. There is medication available that may help to relieve anxiety and car sickness.