Just like people, pets can be nervous passengers, they don’t all like a car trip, so you’ll need to plan ahead if you’re going to be driving with dogs this summer. We collared the animal lovers at Sterling Insurance to come up with their best advice for driving with dogs during your summer 2021 staycation. Here are their top 10 tips. 1. Talk to your vet before driving with dogs Ensure your dog is up-to-date with its vaccinations and ask if additional jabs are required for the road trip, as dogs may encounter different dangers to their wellbeing, such as Lyme disease, at your destination or en route. It’s also a good idea when driving with dogs to research a vet near your destination just in case it becomes unwell during the trip or once you have arrived. You can find your nearest PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) which provides free vet services to sick and injured animals, on this website. 2. Check your dog’s ID tag Make sure your contact information on the dog’s collar tag, and information associated with its microchip, is up to date, just in case they go missing. Use a mobile phone number; there’s no point using a home or work one because you’ll be on holiday and unable to answer! 3. Give yourself plenty of time when driving with dogs Unlike the rest of your passengers when you’re driving with dogs, they can’t tell you when they need the toilet. Plan a 15-30 minutes stop at least every four hours so your pet can relieve themselves and get some exercise. Regular breaks are good for the driver too. 4. Book pet-friendly accommodation Book your accommodation with care when driving with dogs. Not all hotels accept pets and even campsites may have restrictions. If in doubt, phone your hotel, holiday camp, B&B or campsite and ask about their pet policies. Some may have restrictions on certain breeds, numbers of dogs, apply extra charges and restricted access to certain areas. You will also need to bear in mind there may be restrictions for dogs in places you wish to visit on days out from your holiday location. Most beaches in Britain prohibit dogs during the summer but the vast majority welcome responsible owners and their pets from 1 October to 30 April. Here is a list of dog friendly beaches. 5. Crates are great for driving with dogs The safest way for driving with dogs in a car is to use a safety-certified, crash-tested crate. It will provide a comfortable, safe, and familiar place in which your dog can travel and sleep once you reach your destination. If space is at a premium, making a crate impractical, invest in a good quality dog harness and sling for your trip. Just like you and the rest of your passengers, make sure they are buckled up for every trip. 6. Pack a bag for your dog If you are driving with dogs, remember their important luggage. Here is a checklist of some things your dog will need: Water and water bowlFood and food bowlAny medicationBlanket and dog towelBrushPoop bagsDog toysDoggy treatsLeash and/or harness 7. Keep the dog well watered during the trip Dogs can quickly get dehydrated in a hot and stuffy car so ensure yours has constant access to water. Use a small stable bowl that won’t spill and remember to top it up regularly. 8. Prepare your dog for the trip Just like humans, dogs can suffer from bouts of car sickness. Feed your dog a couple of hours before the trip and take it for a good long walk to tire it. After a long walk the dog is more likely to sleep for a while once he is comfy in the car. 9. Never leave the dog alone in the car Dogs can quickly become stressed when left alone in a strange environment such as your car. The problem will get much worse on a summer’s day when temperatures inside the vehicle can quickly rise. If you must leave your dog alone in the car for a few minutes, ensure the windows are open at least an inch and use reflective shades on the windscreen and rear window. Also, make sure their water bowl is topped up. 10. Get out and explore when driving with dogs Driving with dogs can be fun and once you reach your destination, feed and walk your pet as soon as you can. You will both enjoy getting to know your new holiday environment. You’d be barking mad not to choose Sterling insurance If you’re driving with dogs on a summer road trip you’ll travel with a little more confidence if you travel with the protection of a Sterling Insurance policy. Whatever your journey, we can find the right cover for more or less any vehicle, at a price you can afford — prices start from as little as £125 a year — meaning you’ll have more cash in your pocket for ice creams and doggy treats on holiday. And while you’re away we can keep things safe as houses at home with value-for-money household insurance arranged with our partner Adrian Flux.