Most dogs enjoy taking a drive and getting out of the house. If you’re a pet owner who likes to travel with your furry friend, here are some tips for keeping them safe and happy. Even if your pet doesn’t like the car, they still have to go to the vet right?
Cars don’t come with pet seat belts, so it is important to think about your pet’s safety while riding in the car. Just like children, they are dependent on us to keep them safe.
- Restrain your pet. There are several types of harnesses, barriers and crates that can keep your pet restrained and safe. Keeping them secure will prevent them from falling out, flying around and hitting you incase of an accident.
- Put them in the back. An animal is much safer in the back than the front seat and is less of a distraction to your driving.
- Keep them inside. Your pet will be safer if they are fully inside the car instead of in the bed of a truck or with their head out the window. A dog can fall or jump out and also be hit by debris or rocks.
- Don’t leave them. While making stops, DO NOT leave your pet in the car if it’s warm outside. Even on a 70 degree day, the temperature in your car will be too hot after 30 minutes. It is not a good idea to leave your pet in the car when it’s cold either as they can freeze.
- Make sure they have ID. If your pet gets lost, they probably won’t know the way home so it’s especially important for them to have ID on the road.
Other Helpful Tips
A ride in the car can be stressful for you and your pet but it doesn't have to be. Here are some more tips to keep you and your pet enjoying the ride.
- Bring supplies. If you’re going on a long drive, be sure to bring plenty of supplies for your pet like water, food, leash, dog baggies, toys and a bed (if you’re staying overnight).
- Make frequent potty stops. Taking potty breaks is a must to avoid an accident, particularly if you have a puppy or an older dog. You should still be prepared for accidents though just incase.
- Feed them one hour before. Many pets get car sickness, so it is wise to feed them at least an hour before the car ride.
- Exercise your dog. It is a good idea to take your dog on a walk or play with them right before the drive so they are tired and more relaxed.
- Calm a nervous pet. Some pets get anxious riding in the car because they think they’re going to the vet or are just unfamiliar with the surroundings. There are many products you can buy specifically designed to calm them including chews, vests and sprays.