Driving safely with your dog involves using a restraint, making frequent stops, and not lowering the window too far.
September 8, 2017 ·
by Rochelle Miller-Hernandez
People who travel with their dogs tend to stay longer and spend more at a destination. Because of this, pet travel is becoming more prevalent. It is important to keep your dog safe in the car while you are driving to your vacation spot. It keeps everyone safe, including your furry friend. In this article, Part 1 recommends restraining your dog, Part 2 advises frequent stops, Part 3 suggests using a sunshade, Part 4 explains why you shouldn’t lower the window too much, Part 5 tells how to safely leave your dog in the car alone, and Part 6 recommends leaving your dog’s ID on at all times.
It may seem more comfortable for your dog to let him stretch out on the back seat or on the floor of your car, but it’s actually very dangerous. Just as a person should use a seatbelt when traveling, so should your pet. In the unfortunate circumstance you are in an accident, your dog can be gravely injured if not restrained. There are several options on the market, such as a pet harness that buckles into your existing seat belts or various types of travel crates.
You probably like to stop to use the restroom and stretch when driving long distances. As much as you need a break, so does your dog. Your four-legged friend is used to running around, without the confines of a crate or harness.
If you provide your dog with plenty of water in the car frequent stops will be needed. You don’t want a whiny or hyper dog distracting you while you drive. By making pit stops, you can make your pet more comfortable and everyone safer during the trip.
You might only think of using a sunshade when your car is parked. But unlike you, your dog cannot adjust the sun visor or move to avoid the sunlight. It is your responsibility to provide the shade needed to stay comfortable.
Sunshades are available in different sizes to fit various types of windows. Some are equipped with suction cups, making it easier to move from one side to the other.
There is nothing like the feel of the wind blowing through your hair as the sun shines on your face! But when it comes to your dog’s safety, it is a big no-no! If your dog can stick his head out the window, it is opened too far. Trucks kick up rocks, the air is full of flying debris and if any hits your pet, it does so at a force that can cause harm. It’s okay to have the window cracked for ventilation, just not too low.
If you must absolutely leave your dog in the car during mild weather, there are things you can do to make him more comfortable.
Leave all your windows slightly open so a cross breeze can ventilate the car.
Leave a bowl of water where it can be reached. Make sure to lock the doors to prevent someone from stealing your pet or letting him loose. If you have to do this in cold weather, make sure the car windows are closed and you leave some type of blanket that your dog can curl up in. Still leave water within reach.
No matter the case, if you must leave your dog in the car, do so for as little time as possible.
As much as you try to keep your dog under control when exiting the car, there is a chance for escape. Teach your dog to get out at your command. Passing traffic is a danger to your pet. Equally concerning is your dog may run away from you and get lost.
Make sure to keep collar and tags on him at all times. It will help someone reunite you later. Consider micro chipping your dog as most veterinary clinics and animal shelters will automatically scan to see if there is one.
With a few steps, you can keep your dog safe while traveling in your car. Simple things like installing a pet harness, protecting your pet from the sun, and frequent stops can make the trip more pleasant. Whether driving down the street or across the country, your efforts will go a long way in making everyone happy.
by Mary Kurz
by Brady Klopfer
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