If you and your furry friend are ready for adventure, this is the paw-fect road trip guide for you.
Australians love their pets. Cute, fluffy ears and soft, pink paws. What’s not to love? The unlucky thing is that if you want to take your four-legged friend on an adventure with you, it can be difficult – but not impossible!
Our country is blessed with crystal clear waters and picturesque landscapes, but pets aren’t always allowed in these places. So, to help you plan your next pet friendly road trip, we’ve listed some helpful tips, stays and stops where you and your ball of fluff will feel welcome.
Take mini road trips before big ones
If you haven’t conditioned your pet to take long drives, they might not be a fan of spending time in the car. A simple way to get them familiarised with travelling in a vehicle is by taking mini road trips. Start with a short drive around the block to get them comfortable with unfamiliar sights, smells and surroundings. When they start to get excited about hopping in the car, it’s a good indication that they’re comfortable with riding in the backseat.
Click, clack, front and pet
Most importantly, Australia has laws around travelling with pets which must be followed. For example, driving with a pet on your lap is an offence under section 297(1A) of the Queensland Road Rules which states that “a driver must not drive a vehicle if a person or an animal is on the driver’s lap”. It can be ‘ruff’ for drivers who don’t abide by this law – they can be slapped with a $294 fine (varying by state).
To avoid breaking the law – and to keep you pal safe – ensure you strap them in with a proper pet restraint. A few ways you can prevent your pet from stumbling about the back seat is by using a pet car harness, safety strap, booster seat, crate, cage or guard.
Pet friendly accommodation
Before packing the car and taking off, research pet-friendly accommodation options including campgrounds, caravan parks and hotels. NRMA Parks & Resorts have plenty of pet friendly caravan park sites, camp sites and cabins available. So, whether you’re seeking an inland adventure, a snowy mountain escape or a beachside getaway, there’s a pet friendly park not too far away. Just keep in mind that there are rules around pets, and you’ll need to abide by these regulations.
Plan your pet pit stops
Unfortunately, in NSW dogs aren’t allowed in National Parks – even if you’re only visiting for the day. However, there are some NSW regional parks you can enjoy with your canine, as long as they’re supervised and under affective control. Below are links to help you discover pet friendly locations along your travels:
Signs of car sickness and what to do
Although pets can’t speak English and directly tell you how they feel or what they want, it can be easy to spot the signs of car sickness. Vomiting is a clear tell-tale sign. If your pet gets car sick, avoid feeding them three hours before your departure time, and instead, feed them dry food or kibble at the same time you stop to revive.
Another reason why your pet may feel car sick is because of where they’re positioned. Pets are often situated either in the back seat or in the footwell. This means the movement they’re feeling doesn’t match up with what they’re visually seeing because the interior of a vehicle doesn’t actually move. This causes their brain to think if what they’re feeling and seeing are different then perhaps, they’ve ingested a toxin and that’s what causes them to vomit. One way to help them avoid nausea is by making them comfortable in the car and propping them up on a booster seat so that they can see outside the window as the car is moving.
Most importantly, make lots of stops, let them stretch their legs and take regular toilet breaks. By doing this you’re providing them with time to burn off some energy instead of sitting in a car the entire time, and best of all, it’ll help prevent messy mishaps in the car.