Travelling safely with your dog

Camping with your dog can be an amazing experience: sharing adventures, selfie snaps and lazing in the summer sunshine together. However, transporting your dog on camping trips can mean using a car, and if you’re not familiar with the best ways to help your dog cope with car travel, the experience can be stressful and dangerous both for them and for you. Want to go driving with your dog, whether as part of a short camping weekend or a two-week excursion? Make sure you do it safely.

Golden retriever in an open boot, sitting next to picnic box and camping mat

Dog safety is just one of the things you need to think about when camping with your pet. Dogs should ideally be introduced to car travel young so that they recognise that it’s normal and don’t become scared or upset. How do they react to car trips? Do they enjoy them, find them stressful, need a lot of comforting during them, or get so over-excited they nearly fall over their own feet? Get to know how they react so you can shape your driving experience for your dog’s safety.


Keep them secure

You may love the idea of a dog roaming free in the back of your car, but recently it’s actually become a legal requirement that they’re suitably restrained. This not only makes travel safer for them, but it’s also necessary to stop them from disturbing the driver. Investigate suitable harnesses, crates or guards to keep them comfortable while also making sure they’re in a safe position.

Even if they’re small, you can’t keep them on your lap or in a seat while driving; they need to have a seat of their own and a good quality restraint or secured area in the back of your car. And no heads out of windows, because it’s not considered safe. (Which is fine, because that means less slobber on the paintwork.)

Avoid nausea

Avoid travel sickness by feeding your dog strategically: no less than two hours before a long drive, ideally, so that they won’t be digesting food and become prone to nausea. Folding water bowls are a very good idea for travelling with dogs in cars, as they’re stable, durable and built for travellers; carry a water bottle too so that when you stop, you’ll always have clean water to hand for them.

Beagle puppy sitting in the back seat of a car

Plan carefully

Plot out your route to make sure that you can stop every two hours or so to let them stretch their legs and drink, and take note of the temperature and weather; if it’s incredibly sunny, you may want to invest in a sun blind on a back window to protect them from over-heating. It should go without saying, but never leave them in a car unattended, even if it's 'just for a minute'. Cars can heat up quickly. It's also worth thinking about ways to keep your tent at a comfortable temperature if your dog's sharing the living space, as over-heating can be hard to diagnose in canine companions.

Reduce anxiety

If your dog is prone to anxiety while travelling or has car sickness, talk to your vet to make sure you’re creating the best environment for your dog’s safety and health. Something as simple as a familiar blanket or cushion, or a favourite toy, can help them to relax, as can ensuring they have space to sit or lay comfortably.

With the right preparation, you can keep them safe on the road and make sure everybody has holiday fun.


Beagle puppy sitting in front seat of car as owner reads a map
Two dogs sitting in a hammock in the woods

Glamping with your dog

Once you've got the hang of travelling with your dog, consider booking a glamping trip. We've got six locations to choose from and a variety of accommodation, so there's plenty of choice for you and your furry friend.


Related articles

Read more

Tips for a successful summer camping trip

Read More

Your essential guide to glamping

Read More

Top tips for camping with your dog

Read More