Pets are members of the family and go everywhere you go. Be it on vacation, the park or even just a trip to the grocery store, pets love to go for a ride. Traveling with them, however, requires some planning to ensure the safety of everyone in the car. Leaving your pet loose in your vehicle can be dangerous to both the driver and the pet, so before you hit the road with them, make sure you have everything you need to keep them safe. Here are a few tips on car safety for pets so you and your best friend get where you’re going safely.
Getting Bruiser stressed out is going to make it tough on him, and can turn even the most routine outing into an epic voyage. To avoid this, don’t let your pooch get too excited about leaving or, if they’re afraid, too nervous about it. Pack their blanket, or bed, and a toy so they feel at home in the car. Most importantly, you need to remain calm because they look to you to see how to react.
License and Registration
Before you leave, double-check that your pet has their collar and tags, with your address and contact number in case you’re separated. Also, they should be up to date on their vaccinations and have their registration and vaccination tag on their collar. If your pet is chipped, verify their information is current and consider adding an emergency contact aside from yourself to the registration.
Now that you’ve got them in the car, properly restrain, crate or otherwise contain them. You may want to consider installing a pet seat belt or barrier to help keep them in one part of the car and safe in case there’s an accident. A loose pet is not only a distraction while you’re driving but also extremely vulnerable in the event of an accident.
No Open Air
While your pet may love to put their nose in the breeze while you drive, it can be very dangerous. Never allow your pet to sit on your lap, stick their head out of an open window or ride in a truck bed. They could be struck by debris from the road or seriously injured and even ejected in an accident. Leave the window nearest to them cracked for air, but not so open that they can put their nose outside.
Always leave the window cracked open if you have to leave them in the car, especially in the hot summer months, so the car has some added ventilation. Even if you’re only going to be parked for a minute, a car in the hot sun can rapidly climb in temperature and put your pet in severe danger of heat stroke or worse. Finally, you should pack a bottle of water, their leash and some plastic bags to clean up if they need to use the bathroom.
Keeping your pet safe while traveling in the car is every owner’s responsibility. But a few of your pets belongings along with some good old common sense will make the trip safe and enjoyable for both you and your fearless canine friend.
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Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.