Driving with dogs

Clearly, this is not meant to suggest that an owner should let his dog drive; their feet won’t reach the pedals for a start. This is why pet pooches have an easy life. They are transported in automotive comfort to wherever the owner is going, the downside being of course that the pet has to tag along whether it wants to or not. Unfortunately, this means that during the Summer, dogs can suffer when their owners irresponsibly leave their pets locked in cars.

Scarcely a week goes by without an internet story of someone having to break into a car to rescue an overheated dog. Many seaside resort towns ban dogs from beaches in the high season and the occasional thoughtless owners will leave their pet under the baking sun in a tin box without fresh air or water. That’s not good.

Dogs At Home

At holiday times, one solution is to not take the pet. It will probably be quite happy at home, with a relative or in kennels. In some sense, it is kind of selfish to drag a dog along on vacation. Conversely, we miss them; they are part of the family.

Travelling in vehicles does not come naturally to animals. They need to get used to it over time. After a while, they will usually settle down. Further, The law on transporting animals clearly states in the Highway Code that, when in a vehicle, dogs or other animals must be restrained so they cannot distract or injure the driver or themselves in the case, say, of an emergency stop. There are harnesses, carriers, cages or guards for sale at pet shops.

Anyone with children will know that on route to a holiday destination there’s a need to make plenty of stops. Take advantage of this to give the pet water to drink and a chance to stretch their legs and relieve themselves; After all, we do it.

Dogs Abroad

Families planning a vacation abroad or perhaps thinking about moving to another country have a lot to think about. It’s all about preparation what with currency, tickets and the like and it is easy to forget that, with a pet dog as part of the family, there are rules governing the transportation of pets.

Despite Europe being a single entity in terms of trade or travel, different countries may have different rules about allowing dogs in. So, although there exists a set of basic rules, any given nation might have variations. It pays to check in advance. Essentially though, as things stand at the moment in this time of political flux, when transporting a dog in the EU the owner is required to comply with a certain set of rules.

Dogs can travel abroad to EU countries without the need for quarantine but only if they have a pet passport. Under existing rules, this requires dogs to have an identity microchip and a rabies jab before travel plus tapeworm treatment before their return. Fine, rules are rules, but the most important point is to ensure that the pet is up to it. An elderly dog, for example, may not be able to tolerate an extra long journey.

We can go anywhere in the world with relative ease these days. Within reason, there is nothing to stop pets making the trip too; just don’t let them drive.