Wednesday, 21 September 2011 and Dogs Trust study reveals how owners keep their dogs happy on car journeys

According to a new study into car owners and their pets by, over one in three (39%) pet lovers takes their dogs or cats on car journeys with them regularly. Of those surveyed, 41% say their pets enjoy being in the car.

The study reveals that listening to the radio helps pet owners keep their animals amused on longer journeys with Adele, Madonna and Lady Gaga being the most popular artists to keep pets happy on the move.

Some owners admit to singing to their pets to keep them amused. Apparently Radio 1 is the top choice for in-car pet entertainment, closely followed by Radio 2 and 5 Live. has teamed up with the charity Dogs Trust to help ensure dogs enjoy the car journey even more by avoiding travel sickness and staying safe. 12% of pet owning motorists say they let their dog stick his head out of the window on the journey but according to experts at Dogs Trust this is not a great way to keep your pet happy.

Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director at Dogs Trust said: "Dogs might really enjoy the sensation of having their heads out of the window but it is dangerous for them so we would always advise keeping ears, paws and noses inside the vehicle while the car is moving."

25% of pet owners who take their dog or cat in the car say that their animal enjoys the journey, as long as they keep them amused. Talking to them and taking plenty of their toys are the top ways that dog and cat lovers use to keep them happy.

Almost 10% of pet owners say they have almost had a near miss when driving because of their pet's behaviour in the car.

Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at said: "Road trips should be as fun for our pets as they can be for us, and keeping our pets happy in the back is also going to reduce distraction for us as drivers, making our journeys safer for us and our animals."

Keeping canines safe and comfortable in cars – advice from Dogs Trust and
  • 1. Make sure that your dog is safely restrained with a car harness, a travel crate or strong well fitting dog-guard. While there is currently no law that stipulates that a dog must be restrained whilst travelling in a vehicle, The Highway Code does offer advice on best practice.
  • 2. If you're travelling abroad then you can find out about quarantine and the Pet Passport / Pet Travel Scheme from the DEFRA, website
  • 3. Provide fresh drinking water at all times (non-spillable bowls are available) and make plenty of stops on your journey for him to stretch his legs and relieve himself. Never exercise your dog on the hard shoulder of a motorway – wait for a service station.
  • 4. Never leave a dog alone in a car, especially on a warm or hot day. Ensure that the sun is not directly on him whilst you are travelling and try to make your journey during the coolest part of the day. If you use a sunshade attached to the window, make sure that it does not obscure your vision. Make sure that someone stays with your dog when you stop at a service station; a dog can die in a hot car within 20 minutes.
  • 5. To reduce the likelihood of your pet suffering from car sickness, don’t feed your dog just before travelling. If your dog is due to be fed, offer a small amount, but ensure that it is at least an hour before travelling.
  • 6. If your dog is travel sick, or does not travel well, seek advice from your vet, and only use medication prescribed specifically for your dog by your vet.
  • 7. Find out if your vehicle recovery service will allow your dog to travel in the cab with you if you have a breakdown. It may not be safe for your dog to travel in your towed car. 
  • 8. Don’t let your dog stick his head out of the window as passing vehicles could injure your pet, his eyes or ears could be damaged by particles in the air or he could try to jump out.
  • 9. Did you know that the inside of a car legally constitutes a public place This means that anyone who is bitten when sticking his or her fingers through your car window could report you under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. If you have been ordered to keep your dog muzzled in public then you must muzzle him whilst he is in the car also. (This does not apply if the car is parked for example on a private drive).
  • 10. If you're planning to take your dog with you on your holidays, there are some safety and welfare considerations. See the Dogs Trust website for more details.
The poll of 2000 drivers in the UK was carried out by Onepoll on behalf of and all figures have been rounded up to the nearest 1%. was the UK's first price comparison site for car insurance. is one of the biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, pet insurance quotes covering both dog insurance and cat insurance, travel insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.