At Swansway Group we value all of our customers, no matter how furry they may be!

While we all put a lot of thought into the safety of our children on car journeys, it’s also very important to think about pets too. Not only is their comfort important, you could be endangering your own safety if your pets are not well secured in your vehicle.

Travelling with pets can be problematic, but it doesn’t need to be if you’re well prepared. If you dread taking Mr Tiddles to the vets or Rover runs riot in the back of the car, read on and you might pick up some useful tips!

You’ll have a more relaxed journey with your pets if they feel at ease. Get them used to car journeys when they are young and you’ll reap the rewards over the years. A car drive is a very odd and unsettling experience for pets when they’re unfamiliar with all the noises and the movement.

If your pets really do suffer on journeys and you have a long one coming up that you can’t avoid then do have a word with your vet. They can usually prescribe something to calm their nerves and reduce their anxiety on the journey. A familiar blanket or toy that smells of home can really help too.

Making sure your pets are comfortable for their journey will also make your life easier.

Regular breaks are important and invest in a spill proof water bowl so they have access to fresh water when they want it. Experts recommend that you stop every two hours. Your dog can stretch his legs and also relieve himself, so there’ll be no accidents in your car! It is also suggested that by giving your pet just a small amount of food and water on your rest breaks you can reduce the chances of them getting car sick.

Perhaps the most important thing is to make sure your pets are well secured. A cat carrier should be of a big enough size so they can comfortably turn around and lie down. This will stop them becoming too distressed. Always double check the fastenings on your carrier and ensure it is well secured in the car. Having a scared pet running loose around your car while you’re driving down the motorway is not an experience you want to have!

There are a wide range of restraining harnesses available for dogs if they are happy to sit on the seat for the journey. For larger dogs, the boot is usually the best option. However, if your dog is loose in the back and you have to brake suddenly, this could propel the dog forward. To prevent this you have several options: a dog crate is ideal. It’s a good idea to get your dog used to the crate in the house first so he’s familiar with it, then secure it safely in the boot before your journey.

It’s also well worth investing in a barrier that you install in the opening between the boot and the back seats. Do bear in mind that you will need a guard that is made specifically to fit your vehicle. Your local Swansway Group dealership will be able to help you to find all of the right accessories to help keep your pet totally totally secure in your car.

When you’re in the market for a new vehicle, do bear in mind the requirements of the pets as well as yourselves! A panoramic roof is a real treat, but your dog can soon overheat on a hot day. A car with a built in sunshade for the panoramic roof would easily solve this problem. Take a look at the Jeep Grand Cherokee 75 Anniversary edition for a good example of this.

Do remember that you should never leave your dog unattended in the car. For one reason, pets can’t deal with the heat like we can. What might feel like a fine temperature to us could cause major problems for your pets. Additionally though, you also need to consider that sadly pets can be stolen when they’re on their own in a vehicle so keep them safe and with you at all times.

For safety, always ensure that you let your dog out of the car on the pavement side, this will reduce the risk of them running into traffic, and save your nerves and those of other drivers.

If you have a big dog then it follows that you need a car with plenty of space such as the Q3 from the Audi Q range. With a generous 420L boot you’ve got plenty of space for even the biggest of dogs in there!

Another car with a generous boot size is the Honda Civic Tourer. Not only do you get a whopping 642L boot, you’ve also got plenty of options when it comes to seat arrangement. This flexibility is great for families, but also brilliant for pets. Some breeds of dog can injure themselves quite easily jumping in and out of a car so a ramp is a great way to help them get safely loaded.

You can view our range of Pet Safety Accessories online as well as our range of cars to suit you and your four-legged friend. Or pop in to your nearest showroom and we’ll be happy to help you find your perfect match for a furry-friendly trip.