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Keeping your pet entertained on long journeys

Keeping your pet entertained on long journeys

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If you’re planning a holiday in the UK or off to visit relatives in another area, taking your pet with you seems like a bit of a no-brainer. Not only do you avoid having to pay kennel or cattery fees, the furriest member of your family gets to enjoy the break too. However, long car journeys can be pretty tedious for humans, pets are no different. Here are our top tips on keeping your pet happy and entertained on a long car journey.

Ease him in gently

Some pets rarely travel by car and won’t be used to it. Ease them in gently, by going on shorter journeys let’s them become accustomed to car travel. Otherwise, your pet may get a little freaked out, none of you will enjoy the journey then. Start by letting your pet into the car with the engine off, work gradually up to a short trip. Try to make the destination somewhere your pet will enjoy being, like the park. In time your pet willassociate travelling by car with doing something fun.

Make him comfortable

Comfort is probably the main factor in planning a long car journey with a pet. If possible, use a roof rack for all your stuff and leave the boot – minus the parcel shelf- free for the animal. Otherwise, make your pet comfy in a crate (again allow him to become accustomed to it if it’s not something he’s used to). Leave your pet plenty of space.

A barrier will allow you to keep an eye on your pet, without him posing any danger by climbing into the front of the car. If there isn’t room for your pet in the back or your boot doesn’t have a window, you’ll need a pet safety seat. Bring along as much of your pet’s bedding and blankets as you can. Home comforts will go a long way in keeping your pet happy.

Stop often

Keeping your pet entertained on long journeysIf you’re travelling with a pet in the car you should aim to stop at least once every two hours. This gives your pet a chance to toilet and run around, expelling some of his energy. A tired out, sleepy pet will enjoy the rest of the journey, more than one that is excited and raring to go. You might find that a cat sleeps for the majority of the journey, while a dog may need more exercise stops.


You may be tempted to throw all of your pet’s toys in beside him for the trip, it’s best to limit his choices. Consider the noise a toy makes – will you still be able to concentrate on driving, when your pet has spent the last two hours or more playing with an annoyingly loud, squeaky toy? Keep some toys behind to swap around at service breaks, this will keep your pet’s interest.


Food and treats can be great for keeping your pet occupied, don’t get carried away with them – you don’t want him being sick in the back of the car! Putting treats inside chew toys or puzzles will help keep your pet occupied, as well as offering some tasty rewards for being good in the car.






About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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