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Tips for traveling with pets in hot weather

Tips for traveling with pets in hot weather  The hot weather is an inspiration to get outside and bring your furry friends with you. As the weather gets better, it’s more of a reason to get down the beach, go to the…

Sean O'Neill
by Sean O'Neill

Tips for traveling with pets in hot weather 

The hot weather is an inspiration to get outside and bring your furry friends with you. As the weather gets better, it’s more of a reason to get down the beach, go to the park, or even go on a walk somewhere.
Not all of the best places to take your pets are going to be walking distance, there may be a nice beach you have to drive to, the dog friendly park may be in another town or village, or maybe you live in a town centre and want to take your pet somewhere more rural.
Let’s explore the best tips and advice to take your pets out when the weather starts to get good.

Can I leave my dog in the car 

This is the standard rule when it comes to travelling with pets. Although there is always the misconception of leaving the window cracked open, this shouldn’t be done, cars can heat up quite intensely when it’s hot outside and leaving a window open (especially stationary) doesn’t cool the car down enough!
This can lead to serious health issues for your animal if they’re left in a hot car as PDSA gives more in depth advice about looking after your dogs health in the hot weather when it comes to travelling.

What are the rules for my dog in the car

This is pretty simple, just making sure that wherever you chose to put your pet in the car, that they’re comfortable. For some this may mean leaving them in a cage of some kind, this may mean giving them freedom within the car (making sure they don’t distract you), or maybe even the whole boot to themselves so that they can just chill out until you arrive at your destination.

Despite not many people doing it, there are options to buy a harness that can be fixed into the car so that when you are travelling your dog/ pet is secured by a seatbelt essentially, this will offer the most comfort and protection for your furry friend.

When you’re outside the car it’s important you understand how hot the ground is that your pet could be travelling on. There are plenty of options, buy some protective footwear (this may require training), carry them to a safe place, or if you’re feeling extra, then a stroller or a pram could be adequate to get your pets about in the scorching weather.

Well trained pets

As mentioned above, when you have your pets in the car with you, they can’t be a total distraction as that will definitely be dangerous whilst driving. If your dog or whichever pet you have with you is secured in your car they could get over excited as they don’t understand the concept of dangerous driving.

So it’s important to make sure that you’ve got them adequately trained to listen to you when you tell them to behave.

Familiar locations

This is more optional for you, but bringing your pet to a familiar location is a safer bet as they will know the journey better and are less likely to get upset or nervous and cause any problems.

It’s also just a comfort feature for your pet as if they know the place they’re going, you’re more likely to let them off their leash and can go wild instead of having to explore the whole area first.

Catering for you pet 

When travelling with pets, making sure that they’re watered and fed is important, not only is this in relation to cooling down when it’s hot, but their bodies will also need fuel, not only to help them in the heat, but also so they can enjoy wherever you’re taking them!

Vet check ups

This is simply a precaution, making sure that your pet has had regular check ups at the vet and that they’re fully insured. This way, should anything happen then you’re covered and won’t have to worry about taking them to the vet.

Although having insurance won’t help prevent anything from happening to your best friend, it should help with peace of mind should it happen.

Equipment Checklist 

This will vary from person to person, even though it’s mostly applicable to dogs, people still use different equipment for their pets and have different ideas of what’ll be good or useful when taking your pets out and about. Let’s take a look at the essentials;

  • Lead/harness
  • Bags for their waste
  • Sufficient water supply
  • Sufficient amount of food
  • Some toys
  • Towel, or something to protect the car seats(especially if water is involved)
  • Feet protection


Is it illegal to leave my pet in the car ?
It’s not illegal to leave your animal in the car, however, it is your legal responsibility to look after your animal. So if leaving them in a hot car causes illness or risk to your animal you could face animal cruelty charges.

Does my pet need to be fastened when travelling with me ?
The highway code does state that the animal needs to be reasonably fastened to prevent it causing any distractions to you whilst driving and make sure that it doesn’t injure you, or get any injuries should an emergency stop happen.
Is it safe to take my pets in the car with me ?
Yes, as long as you meet the standards for comfort and safety and ensure you never leave them alone in the hot weather.
What to do if you see a pet in a locked car ?
Call 999, despite wanting to do more you will need to make a clear and correct assessment before taking matters into your own hands (like breaking a window) as this could lead to charges against you as well.
Do dogs enjoy being in the car ?
Dogs seem to love going for a ride in the car (especially listening to stereotypes!)
If you are off somewhere nice this summer with your furry friend and don’t want to be the only one driving around, then be sure to check out our temporary car insurance for excellent short term cover!
Sean O'Neill
Sean O'Neill

Having studied English literature in university I now work within motor insurance and work closely with data teams to understand market trends in short-term car insurance and hot topics that might be helpful to car drivers out there. I'm currently learning to drive and taking driving lessons to get out on the road by myself soon!

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