Dog travel

Mini and Dogs Trust promote pet-friendly travel

More than three million households in the UK have acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic, and one in three homes now include a dog.

With many people setting off on a road trip with their canine companions this summer, Mini has partnered with Dogs Trust to help the nation’s dogs travel happier.

Dog in the car

Dogs will be welcomed into dealerships with bowls of water and mats, and the brand will be working with Dogs Trust canine behaviour experts to educate consumers on best practice for travelling by car with your dog.

Top tips from Dr Jenna Kiddie, head of canine behaviour at Dogs Trust, include:

1. Introduce car travel gently

Get your dog used to car travel gradually, starting with very short journeys, and lots of positive reinforcement with treats.

2. Watch their body language

If your dog is happy, they’ll enthusiastically hop on in and settle down. A favourite blanket or cushion can help your dog feel calm and relaxed.

Signs of distress can include shaking, panting and pulling away from the car. Your dog might feel anxious about car journeys if they associate it with visits to the vets, so build positive associations by taking some trips just for fun.

3. Protect your pooch

Secure your dog on the journey by using a harness, guard or crate. That way they’ll be restrained if you have to make a sudden stop. It’ll also help to keep them out of the driver’s way, and avoid distractions while you’re on the move.

4. Take a break

Dog car sickness is common. Look out for signs your dog is feeling sick while on the road. If they’re drooling, licking their lips more than usual, and retching, then stop and take a break.

5. Bring along some water

Make sure your dog has access to clean, fresh water. There are lots of portable bowls on the market that are designed to reduce spills and help avoid soggy puddles.

6. Never leave your dog in the car on a hot day

Even parked in the shade, with the windows open, cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures. If you’re heading out this summer and your dog won’t be able to come indoors with you, it’s best to leave them at home.

With dog insurance from Purely Pets, you’ll have cover for vet’s bills if your dog is unwell or injured. And with online policy management and online claims, you can manage your policy at a time that suits you.