Keep your pet calm in the car

Our guide will show you just how simple it is to travel with your pet.

Find the best tips for taking your four-legged friend with you on Eurotunnel Le Shuttle!

Planning a holiday with your pet? It's so much easier when you travel with us, but we understand that some pets may need a few creature comforts to make them feel more at ease. Not to worry though, there are lots of easy things you can do to keep your pet comfy and cheerful in the car.

Helping your pet with travel sickness
Turn that frown upside down! Your pet will love being in the car in no time.
Turn that frown upside down! Your pet will love being in the car in no time.  

Most pets love travelling, and have no difficulty setting off on new adventures. But, some may experience travel sickness when they start travelling in the car. If that is the case, don't worry! It's easy to cure and prevent, and certainly not a reason to stop going on holiday. There are lots of ways that you can help your pet to feel better, so their journey is as fun and exciting for them as it is for you.

These simple steps will make their journey less queasy.

Give them something small to eat

Only give them something small to eat before setting off, about an hour or so before you drive. A big meal will make it more likely that they will be ill in the back of the car. However, on a long journey they will probably get peckish. Give them some light and healthy snacks, such as carrot sticks, to munch on.

If you have a young dog who is teething, a deer antler will give them something to gnaw on, without risking an upset tummy. It's also something fun to do that will keep their mind off the car.

Talk to your vet about anti-sickness medication

There are anti-sickness medications that your vet can prescribe your pet to help them feel better when they travel. Speak to them before your journey, and they will be able to recommend the best ones.

Before the medication starts to work, your pet might still be ill. In which case, it's good to know the signs of travel sickness so you won't be delayed too much.  

Signs of travel sickness

Your pet may not be able to tell you that they have travel sickness, but their body language will let you know. Your dog will whine, pant and yawn, and seem uneasy or show signs of listlessness and be inactive. If your pet is at real risk of travel sickness, get a passenger to sit in the back with them (if there is room) so they can keep an eye on them, and offer some much-needed love and comfort to your poorly pooch.

If your pet vomits in the car

Despite these tips, accidents can still happen. Remember to stay positive, if your pet gets in trouble for being ill in the car it may give them negative connotations associated with travelling, making it harder for you to take them to new and exciting places.

If you can, pop them on a puppy pad while you're travelling, so the mess is easier to clean up. If they're sick, open a window or stop to let them out to get some fresh air. It's a good idea to keep the window open a crack for the whole drive, as that helps with travel sickness too.

Help your pet feel relaxed in the car
Fresh air blown through the car will help any pet with an upset tummy.
Fresh air blown through the car will help any pet with an upset tummy.

Eventually, your pet will be fine in the car and become a good traveller. While some pets take to driving instantly, others might need a little more convincing and gentle encouragement that driving is the best way to travel. As with helping your pet with travel sickness, there are steps to take before you set off on your long journey to get your pet comfy and happy in the car.

Give your pet plenty of exercise

The more you get your pet running around before you set off, the more likely they will sleep through. Try to make stops throughout the journey too, so they can run around and get some fresh air. Fresh air is always a great way to help with nerves or an upset tummy.

Go on shorter journeys

Start with shorter journeys that increase in length, building up to the longer journey. This will help your pet get used to being in the car and reduce their anxiety. Try not to be too ambitious in these early journeys, you also want to build up to things like roundabouts, motorways and very bendy roads.

Afraid of motorbikes?

If your pet gets scared of motorbikes, or other noisy vehicles, try to get a passenger to use the ‘watch me' command to keep them focused on something else, or give them a treat or a tasty bone to play with.

The tips don't stop once you get in the car. There are also a lot of things you can do once your pet is travelling with you.   

These tips will soon get you a pet who’s more than happy to be in the car.
These tips will soon get you a pet who’s more than happy to be in the car.
Keep them cosy

Pop them in their dog bed on the seat, to get them comfortable in familiar surroundings. This is also good if you are stopping and starting a lot on the journey, as they won't move around too much. Bring their favourite blankets that smell of home with them, as this will help reduce any anxiety they may have.

Get them a pet seatbelt

Just like humans, pets need to be secure too! You can purchase a harness that keeps them held in place in the car, but they need replacing as your pet grows. Another option is a seatbelt clip that attaches to their collar. Your pet can move around a bit more (which might not be great if they are fidgety), but they are secure, and you won't need to replace the attachment as often.

Keep them distracted

You can do this with toys, but don't choose ones that will get them too excited as this could be dangerous. If you're travelling with your dog, use a toy with treats hidden inside. It's something for them to focus on, and as we know, all dogs love treats!

Use a calming scent or spray

You can get sprays and scents with pheromones in them that will help relax your pet in the car, and keep them calm. Spray this on their bed as well as around the whole car (focusing on the place your pet will be sitting) so they get a strong enough scent.

Look at anti-anxiety medications

If your pet really doesn't like travelling in the car, despite you trying everything, then your vet will be able to talk to you about anti-anxiety medication that will help your pet to relax.

Remember to keep lots of treats and water in the car for your pet, and don't leave them unattended for too long, and never with the window closed. Travelling with us makes going away with your pet easier. If you book your tickets with us early, you are guaranteed to get the best price.

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