Safety Tips When Driving with Your Pets

While many pets enjoy going for a ride in the car, others would much rather avoid one. Regardless of the reason for
having our four legged friends along for a ride, it is important to follow a few safety tips to ensure our furry passengers are safe during the journey.

By: Sloan McKinney

When we think of driving with our four-legged friends, we often envision a dog with his head sticking out a car window as it travels down the road. While this image may conjure up happy thoughts in many of us, leaving your pet free to “roam” about the car while it is in motion is not safe. Whether you take your pets for trips in the car for fun or out of necessity, following a few simple safety tips can help ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safely.

Front or Back?

Just like our two-legged children, the front seat is actually the worst place for them to ride. In the front seat, your pet is at risk from being injured from the possible deployment of an airbag. Additionally, they are more likely to be a distraction for the driver. When traveling in the car, the best place for your furry friend is in the back. Here are more safety tips to follow when transporting your best friend:

The Great Crate Debate

Some people and animal rights organizations don’t agree with the concept of putting an animal into a crate, but it is still the safest way for them to travel. Crate training your dog or cat is actually a relatively simple process, and many animals actually enjoy their own space. There are so many reasons they’re much safer in these homes with handles when they are in a car. Here are just a few:

  • Flying objects inside a vehicle can cause serious injuries in the event of a crash
  • If a collision does occur and you’re unresponsive, emergency personnel can quickly remove and contain your animal
  • Another danger resulting from a car accident is your animal escaping through a broken window where they could be struck by a passing motorist

If you’re completely against the concept of putting your critter into a crate, at the very least they should be harnessed and buckled in, just like other passengers. As a matter of fact, more states are beginning to institute laws and fines when it comes to pet transportation and distracted driving statutes when they’re travelling inside our vehicles.

Car Kit

Just like you may put together a kit for yourself to have on hand in the car, having some pet essentials on hand is always a good idea when traveling with your furry friends. Along with plenty of fresh drinking water, be sure to bring along a first aid kit, some toys, treats, and bowls for food and water. You shouldn’t feed your pet while the car is in motion, however, as this could cause them to become ill or develop motion sickness.

ID and Paperwork

Even if your pet is microchipped, be sure they have a proper identification tag with all of your contact information. When travelling across state lines, you should have your animal’s vaccination records on hand, especially showing their current rabies shot. Although this usually isn’t an issue in most cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Dogs in CarGraduate To Longer Journeys

Even if your animal is accustomed to driving to the nearby veterinarian’s office, before taking a long-distance journey, get him acclimated to driving greater distances. Gradually increase the time he spends in your vehicle before taking him on a cross-country adventure.

In closing, we all know better than to leave an animal alone in a parked car, not even for a few minutes, regardless of the outside temperature. Along with the risks associated with a vehicle that is too hot or cold, your precious pooch or friendly feline could also be stolen. Do whatever is necessary to keep your beloved pets safe whenever you’re travelling with them in tow.