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How to Keep your Dog Safe and Happy in the Car

Wednesday June 7th 2017

Our vet nurses at Petcall have put together some tips on how to keep your dog happy and safe in the car. Remember as a helpucover customer you have access to vetcall's vet nurses 24/7 for any advice that you may need.

It is never safe to leave your dog in a car on a warm day, even with the windows open or when the car is parked in the shade. Cars heat up quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm outside and your dog can become dangerously overheated within a very short space of time. This can lead to symptoms of heat stroke which can prove fatal without prompt treatment. Dogs are not able to cool down as effectively as people are, so can suffer heat related problems and dehydration after very short periods of time in a hot car.

Early symptoms can include:

• Excessive panting
• Drooling and restlessness
• Leading to collapse
• Vomiting and seizures

Heat stroke in dogs is an emergency situation which requires urgent veterinary treatment.

When travelling long distances:

• Try to take regular breaks
• Offer your dog drinking water
• Allow them to stretch their legs from time to time

Check you have the lead securely in your hand before letting your dog out of the car, especially if you are in a car park or near a road. Pet ID tags should have your current contact details just in case your dog escapes.

It is a good idea to get your dog familiar with travelling in a car from a young age. Start with short journeys and gradually build up. This should help to alleviate any issues with anxiety or travel sickness. Always make sure your dog is suitably restrained whilst travelling in the car, this will keep both you and your dog safe during the journey. A dog guard, seat belt harness, pet carrier or cage will help to restrain your dog safely and securely. Giving your dog some familiar bedding to settle on can help to make them feel calm and comfortable during a journey.

If you are concerned about your pet’s health please contact one of our experienced veterinary nurses at Pet Call. To access the service please refer to your helpucover policy for details.