For many of us, our pets are valued members of the family. So it is only natural that we want to take them places with us. Whether you are visiting an out-of-state family member, taking a trip to the beach, or even just driving your pet to the veterinarian, it is important to consider these safety tips before driving with pets in the car.
Secure Your Pets
It can be natural to want to let your pet have free range to roam inside of your car or let them sit on your lap. Avoid doing this. Not only will a loose pet distract you from paying attention to the road, but if you are involved in an accident, it is more likely that your pet will be seriously injured than if you had restrained them in the first place.
Several options are available to safely restrain your pet in the car, including:
- Crates or kennels
- Vehicle barriers (similar to those used in police cars) between the backseat area and the hatchback area of an SUV or station wagon
- Animal car seats or seatbelts
Think about it. You protect a young child by restraining them in a car seat. Why wouldn’t you treat your pet the same? Ignore your pet’s whines and do what is best for them.
Never Drive with Your Pet in the Bed of a Pickup Truck
Each year, at least 100,000 dogs die from riding in the back of a pickup truck, according to the American Humane fact sheet. A nervous pet may jump from the truck and be hit by another vehicle or a pet may be thrown from the vehicle during an accident. Even if you leash your pet to the inside of the truck, they may jump over the side and strangle themselves.
Do Not Leave Your Pet Alone in a Vehicle
Even if you crack a window, you should never leave your pet unattended in a car, especially in the summer. Cars heat up quickly and your pet could suffer a heat stroke or worse.
If your pet experiences anxiety when traveling in a car you should take a few extra precautions. After all, even a well-trained pet is likely to act unpredictably when stressed-out.
If your pet gets overly nervous when riding in a car you can:
- Make sure your pet is properly leashed or crated before opening the doors of your vehicle upon exit. A spooked animal may dart away from the car.
- Take your pet on short trips and reward them with treats for good behavior once home. Gradually work your way up to longer and longer car rides.
- If you must spend a lengthy amount of time traveling with your pet, speak to your veterinarian about anxiety calming techniques or medications.
When traveling with your pet make sure you have the essentials, including:
- A leash or traveling crate
- Plenty of pet food and water
- A bowl for your pet to drink from
- A collar with up-to-date ID tags
- A fully-charged cell phone (with the same number that is on the ID tags)
Following these safety tips will help both you and your pet have a safe and enjoyable time in the car. For more safety tips be sure to follow our blog or give us a call if you were in an accident.