We have no doubt all at some point been travelling in a car and spotted a dog excitedly looking out of the back window and wondered where they might be off to prompting thoughts of our own dogs. But it seems not all car journeys go smoothly for dog owners, according to new research.

The findings, released by Direct Line Pet Insurance reveal that a third of dog owners report their beloved pet dirtying the car and getting car sick.

While a third of pet owners say they have had problems when, in the style of the hit film ‘Marley and Me’, their dog has stuck its head out of the window.

For one in ten unlucky owners, their dog has even used the car as its toilet.

Speaking of the findings, Prit Powar, head of pet insurance at Direct Line, said: “Some owners trust their animals to roam free around the car.  However, even the most well behaved animal can become easily spooked or excited, which could distract you from the road, putting both you and your pet in danger.  It’s important to adhere to the Highway Code to make sure you, your passengers and your pet is safe.”

The pet insurer offered these top tips to dog owners travelling

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  • Get your pet used to travelling in a car as early as possible to calm those shaky legs
  • Reward your pet for good behaviour at the end of the journey with a tasty, animal-friendly treat
  • Keep towels in the car at all times to clean those mucky paws
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