Car mistakes you're making with your dog | Village Vets
dog car

With a large chunk of restrictions lifted, many pet owners have been using the opportunity to bring their favourite four-legged friends on adventures in the car. However, it would be easy to think that getting your dog into the car is the hard part. In reality, keeping them safe while in transit is certainly the most challenging!

Today we’ll be looking at the five easiest mistakes pet owners can make when bringing their doggo on a road trip.

No. 5: Allowing them the run of the car

It should go without saying that allowing your dog to travel without a seatbelt or some kind of safety harness on is definitely a mistake. It is actually law in Ireland that when in a vehicle, dogs or other animals should be suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you if you stop in an emergency. In some European countries, the law does not allow dogs to travel loose in vehicles at all! Besides, in the event of an accident (touch wood) you want to be sure that your pet is as protected as you are.


dog car


No. 4: Heads out the window

We’re not sure what movie started this trend, but it has since become a cliché of sorts that when a dog travels in a car, its head must stick out the window. In reality this practice is very dangerous as your dog can injure themselves and others while your car is passing trees, cyclists, other road users and signs. It’s no harm to have the window down for good air ventilation, but letting your dog hang out of the car can have day-ruining consequences!

dog car


No. 3: Leaving them in the car for extended periods

There’s oodles of evidence, both in the real world and online, of owners leaving their pets in cars during heatwaves. On an, albeit rare, sunny day in Ireland, the temperature in a car can reach as high as 35 degrees Celsius; high enough to dehydrate, exasperate and cause long-lasting bodily harm to your pet. Even if the temperature outside is bearable, inside the car can be suffocating, so never leave your pet in a close parked car, conservatory or greenhouse.

No. 1: Interacting with your pet while driving

While driving, 100% of your attention should be given to the road, other road users and your own actions at all times. Even a one-second lapse in concentration can lead to calamity, injury and hefty insurance bills, and it doesn’t matter how experienced a driver you think you are; even Lewis Hamilton crashes. While the car is moving, you should treat your properly-restrained pet like a mobile phone: in your pocket and not your priority! That doesn’t mean you can’t talk to your pet as you go off on your adventure together, but it’s certainly something to be wary of while driving!

On your next outdoor adventure together, we hope you and your pet have as much fun as possible, but arrive and leave from your destination with safety as your main concern. It’s great that we have laws that allow us to bring our pets in our cars, but making sure we stay on right side of those laws is important to know and be familiar with! In truth, there really is nothing like bringing your best friend on a trip! If you have any questions or concerns, you can always contact us.

Farewell for now, Pet-pals. We hope to see you out and about soon!