We all know someone who loves to take their dog with them everywhere. Maybe you are that person. But when it comes to pets in cars, there are some precautions we must take to keep our pets (and ourselves) safe at all times. Here are our top five safety tips for traveling with your beloved pets.
- Crate train. Crate training has its perks outside of travel and is highly recommended by veterinarians and organizations such as the American Kennel Club. One major benefit of having a crate trained animal is that it makes transportation much easier and safer. If you’re bringing your pet on a long car ride, it gives them a comfortable place to be situated and keeps them from moving around and potentially distracting the driver.
- Seat belts. You should be putting your seatbelt on every time your car is in motion and the same goes for pets. If you get into an accident, you want to make sure your animals are secure to lessen the impact of potential injuries. Dog seat belts are easy to use and attach to a harness the dog wears, so they’re great for quick trips to the park or the vet.
- Acclimate your pets to the car. Not every pet has the endurance for long car rides right off the bat. Some pets experience motion sickness and aren’t accustomed to the sensation of a moving vehicle. Before taking your pet on a long road trip, take them on short trips where you reward them for getting into the car so it becomes something to look forward to. This will make your pet more comfortable, which in turn will keep them more relaxed and less likely to distract the driver.
- Talk to your vet. Let your vet know where you’re going as you might not be aware of certain precautions to take in new places. For example, many people who live in desert climates don’t give their pets a monthly heartworm tablet due to the lack of mosquitos, but it’ll be something your pet needs if there are heartworm risks wherever you’re traveling. Make sure your pets are up-to-date on all vaccinations and see what other offerings are available, such as the rattlesnake vaccine if you know you’ll be doing some hiking. This is also a good time to make sure your pet is microchipped in case they run off while you’re away from home.
- Keep essentials on hand. You always have certain things on you while you’re driving: license, registration, auto repair insurance, etc. Don’t leave home without your pet’s essentials either. It’s easy to have them hop in the car for a quick ride with no intention of letting them out until you’re back home, but what if your errands are taking longer than expected and you need to let your dog out? Always take their leash and make sure they have their collar on at all times while you’re out of the house in case they get out of your vehicle unexpectedly.
Keeping your pets secure and restrained may not be the most fun way to take them on the road, but it is the safest way to get from point A to point B. Wishing you safe travels to you and your pets!