Many pets are just as beloved as children. They go everywhere with you, providing a warmth and unconditional love that you don't get anywhere else in your life. With that in mind, it's astonishing how many people allow their pets to roam loose in the car rather than taking the proper steps to ensure pet car safety.
Find a crash-tested crate to transport your pet
These crates are designed to provide protection in the event of an accident. Look for a durable crate with plenty of air holes to allow your pet to breathe freely. Keeping your pet in a crate when you're driving not only keeps them safer if you do have an accident, it also makes it safer for you because they aren't roaming around the car, providing a distraction and even interfering with your ability to properly operate the vehicle. If you don't have a crate or don't have room for one in your car, consider a harness that will allow you to strap your dog in with the seat belt. This will keep your dog properly restrained and provide more safety in a crash than being loose in the car.
Never leave your pet alone in the vehicle
Even if it seems to be a fairly mild day, temperatures inside a car can skyrocket quickly. Try to avoid taking your pet with you when you're driving to locations where they won't be allowed.
Plan to stop regularly
If you're going to be traveling a long distance with your pet, plan the trip with their needs in mind. Your pet will need to stop to stretch their legs more often than you will, not to mention taking regular bathroom breaks. When you stop, take advantage of the time to give your pet food and water, as well as playing for a little while to relieve the boredom of the trip.
Prepare your vehicle
If you aren't going to secure your pet in a crate, make sure that the power windows are turned off. You don't want to roll down the windows and let your pet stick his head out, either, no matter how much fun it might be for him. If you want to protect your seats, you can put down a towel for your pet. Mats to put down in your cargo space are also available.
Don't feed your pet in a moving vehicle
Just like you, your pet can choke if you have to come to a sudden stop or swerve. Not only that, eating while in the car can increase instances of motion sickness--and your pet can't tell you that he's about to be sick.
Bring your own water, or go bottled
If you're traveling a long distance, particularly if you're headed across state lines, consider bringing water from home to keep your pet well-hydrated. Just like how some people can have stomach issues when they drink water from an unfamiliar area, pets can experience diarrhea and other stomach problems as a result of unfamiliar water.
Make sure you're prepared for the journey
You wouldn't head off on a road trip without bringing supplies for yourself. Make sure that you provide your pet with the same consideration. You'll want to bring along a leash and harness, food, water, and bags to clean up after your pet, but those are just the basic necessities. Also consider making sure that your pet is wearing a tag with your name and phone number. You don't mean for them to get away from you, but you never know what might happen! You might also consider bringing along a favorite toy or blanket to make your pet more comfortable.
Traveling with your pet doesn't have to be a major production, but it is important to make sure that you take a few steps ahead of time. You want to ensure your pet's comfort as well as your own throughout your journey. Looking for more pet safety tips? Feel free to contact us for more information.