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On the road: Travel tips to keep your dog safe and happy these holidays

Have dog, will travel: Planning ahead to make sure your furry family members are safe and comfortable during long car journeys will ensure it's a fun trip for everyone.

This is sponsored content for PetSafe® Brand Australia.

Whether you're planning a holiday road trip or driving home to celebrate Christmas, it's likely many of you will take your pooches along for the ride.

But long trips in the car with dogs can be challenging at times so it's important to be prepared.

Your furry family members have specific needs you'll need to attend to on the road to keep them safe and comfortable, and to ensure a fun trip for everyone.

Here are a few key considerations:

Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle

Even on cool or cloudy days, the inside of a car can get dangerously hot in a few minutes, even with windows slightly open.

According to the RSPCA, temperatures in a car can rapidly reach more than double the outside temperature so if it's 22 degrees outside, the inside of a car can reach 47 degrees.

And while rolling windows down might help keep it cooler, this exposes your pet to other potential dangers, like car thieves or escape.

Put your dog in the back seat

Great at keeping adult's safe, airbags can injure a dog, even if he's in a special seat or a carrier.

Safely in the back there's also no risk of a dog distracting the driver and possibly causing an accident.

Consider getting a reliable metal or mesh dog barrier to stop you're doing roaming into the danger zone.

On the road: Travel tips to keep your dog safe and happy these holidays

Consider seat covers, booster seats and more

One way to take the stress out of journey is to make your vehicle's seats more dog friendly.

Use waterproof seat covers to protect them from dog hair, muddy paw prints and other mess. They're available in styles to suit all vehicles.

You can also modify the seats with a comfy booster seat that attaches to a headrest. It's the perfect way to prop your pup up so he can see out the window on his travels. Ideal for dogs under 14kgs, a booster seat can also help prevent car sickness for those smaller pups who can't see out of the window and may become nauseous from the motion.

Dedicated car seats for dogs makes car rides safer by connecting securely to one of your vehicle's seat belts.

For dogs who prefer to snooze during the drive, a cozy car dog bed is the perfect blend of seat cover and bed.

On the road: Travel tips to keep your dog safe and happy these holidays

Make regular pit stops

Stopping regularly is good for both you and your dog. Include plenty of breaks for brief, leashed walks to let your dog go to the toilet, have some water, and stretch his legs.

For long trips, research off-leash dog parks along your route. Some rest stops offer fenced areas specifically for dogs.

Equip your dog with contact info

It's scary to think about our pets getting lost in an unfamiliar place. Unfortunately, dogs sometimes get loose and could run off during rest stops or at your destination.

Keep them leashed at stops or when you first arrive in a new place. And in case your dog does get lost, make sure they're microchipped and have strong identifying tags attached to their collar with your contact information clearly displayed.

Make your destination feel like home

Help your dog be comfortable at your destination by making it feel familiar. Bring along favourite blankets, beds and toys, and allow time for him to explore his home-away-from-home and get used to the new sights, sounds and smells.

Choose an accessible spot for his food and water, and maintain his normal eating routine. You could take along an automatic pet feeder to ensure your dog gets his meals on time even if you're on holiday time and forget.

Ease initial anxiety in new surroundings with an interactive dog toy to focus his attention on fun while he's getting used to things.

On the road: Travel tips to keep your dog safe and happy these holidays

Take extra care with festive foods

Christmas means food and plenty of it. And sneaking the odd bit of food to our eager furry friends is almost as traditional as singing carols.

But we - and our relatives and friends - need to be aware that many of our most-loved seasonal foods are dangerous for dogs.

On the naughty list is chocolate, sweets, grapes, currants, sultanas, nuts, cooked bones, stuffing, onions, and garlic, plus avocado, and ham.

On the nice list are lots of traditional trimmings like cauliflower, carrots, parsnips, and broccoli but make sure you offer them raw or before oils and seasonings are added.

To be 100 per cent safe and ensure your dog has just as much foodie fun as you on the big day, maybe include a treat-dispensing toy for him under the tree to keep him busy. Your dog will think all his Christmases have come at once.

Safe travels!

Pet-loving company PetSafe® has grown to be one of the world's most trusted brands for pet owners with its focus on ensuring the safety, health and happiness of pets. To find out more visit the PetSafe® website here.

This is sponsored content for PetSafe® Brand Australia.