Traveling with your pet | Village Vets

Travelling with your pet means that you can explore the world together, but it's very important to make sure that your pet is safe and secure in the car! An improperly restrained pet is a huge liability in a collision and can cause serious injury to all involved. Besides that, the Gardai have the right to pull over and fine a driver who does not have their pet appropriately secured. Travel sickness and anxiety can also be a huge issue for pets who are not used to the car. 

So, if you’re looking to keep you and your pet safe, or if you want to get your pet used to the idea of travelling in the car, you’ve definitely come to the right place. 

Combating Anxiety and Staying Safe: 

Some pets will take an immediate shine to being in the car, however it’s more common for them to be fearful of it. The best way to tackle this is to build rapport between your pet and the car. Allow them to sniff, smell, be near and be in the car. Once they realise that it poses no threat, have them get in and start it up (not them start it up, you do that); let it run, let them get used to its noises and vibrations and treat them when they remain calm. 

When you think that they’re ready, take them on short 20 or 30 second journeys, perhaps to the end of the road and back. Build upon this success with longer and longer journeys. At this point, you’ll want to start thinking about getting a pet seat-belt, car crate or divider that will keep your pet safe in the event of a collision. 




That’s Great, But My Pet Gets Sick During Travel: 

Whatever about us not being designed to go fast in metal boxes, pets were never meant to experience motion while being completely stationary. This disconnect creates what we know as motion sickness. However, there are simple ways to combat it: 

• Don’t feed your pet 1 hour before travelling in the car — a full tummy can definitely exacerbate motion sickness, not to mention giving their stomach something to eject. 

• Use cat-nip for cats or a bone for a dog — by giving them something to focus their mind on, you are taking it away from travelling. Treats and toys are great placebos! 

• Let your pet see the World around them — depending on your car travel set-up, allowing your pet to look out a window can abate a great deal of their fears, not least take their mind away from any worries they may have. 

• If all else fails, an all-natural or herbal remedy may be suitable — personally I have my doubts, but many swear by the wide range of holistic solutions available. If I had to pick: pet remedy is what we stock and recommend.

I Need to Take Them in the Car for an Emergency: 

Probably not my fondest memory, but my cat Bagpuss was involved in a scrap many moons ago and he came home bleeding. My first instinct was to get him in the car and to the vets, but between the blood and loose hair, my Mother had her own worries. 




If your pet is injured and you need to take them in the car to the vet, you won’t have time to worry about motion sickness or travel anxiety. Get a container large enough to hold them and pad its base with an old towel. If you’re alone, find a lid or cover your pet with another towel to keep them secure while you drive. Speed will be on your mind, but take your time; a calm journey can make all the difference – both to your safety and your pet’s. 

Once the crisis is over you can bin the old towel and throw away the container. If things didn’t go as smoothy as I’ve mentioned, sellotape can quickly remove hair and lukewarm water can clean dried blood from your car’s seat. Bad smells and lingering odours can be neutralised with any domestic air freshener and by leaving your car’s windows down on a warm day. For hardened dirt, sand, muck, droppings and hair, you may need to see about a professional cleaning service. 

With this quick guide you and your pet should be ready to go anywhere – be it the beach, the park, the forest or even the vet! It’s a great feeling to have your favourite furry friend as a co-pilot and travelling companion, especially during the Summer. 

For now, we hope you continue to stay safe, both in the car and out of it! 

Au revoir, pet fans!