For long trips it’s easy to understand why you may want to bring your pet with you as opposed to leave them at home. Even on small daily commutes like driving to your preferred veterinarian for a checkup or going to the dog park, it’s important that your pet be properly secured in the car whenever you go anywhere to keep them and you as safe as possible. There may be instances where pet owners allow their animals to simply roam around the vehicle while they drive and while you may think that that’s ok depending on the behavior of your dog, it can be extremely dangerous. Before your pet’s next car ride, consider these safety tips to keep your pet safely and securely seated in your car.
Have a look at these safety tips
Avoid the Airbags– One important factor to consider is where your pet will be positioned, most of the time it’s in the passenger seat right beside you. However, it’s highly recommended that you put your pet in the back seat or trunk/storage area, especially if your car has airbags. Airbags are extremely dangerous to dogs traveling in the front seat, meaning unless your car doesn’t have a passenger airbag, it’s much safer and you’re better off placing them in the back with a restraint.
Utilize Proper Restraint Harnesses– It may sound awful to think of restraining your pet with a harness but in terms of safety, there aren’t many options that are better, especially if you have a larger breed of dog. Most harnesses are surprisingly comfortable and allow you to attach them directly to the seatbelt, giving them room to move around and get comfortable. For smaller dogs and other pets, some restraints will come with bed-like boxes for them to lie in as well.
Gates/Guards– If you own an SUV or wagon type vehicle, you can choose to use a gate or a guard barrier to allow your pet more room and independence, which is especially beneficial if you have multiple pets. You can use a waterproof liner to prevent accidents or even bring along their bed for added security and comfort for them.
Teach Them to Ride In the Car– Like learning other tricks, if you know your dog will be going on tons of car rides with you, they can be taught how to ride in the car properly. By starting small and getting them used to the vehicle before even going anywhere, you give them a chance to adjust to a new setting and surroundings. Giving them treats while doing this will help them associate car rides as a positive thing. From there you can start with small car rides to places your dog loves to play to further reinforce the car as a positive thing.
Bring the Litterbox– For cats, one way to ease their anxiety is by bringing along the litterbox to use during rest stops, which you should take every few hours, this will also help prevent accidents. Manufacturers also make harnesses specifically for cats, which you can utilize to give them improved mobility as well, making the drive a bit easier to handle for them.
Have the Proper Checkups Done– This is before going on those longer road trips with your pet. You should have them get a full check up to make sure that everything is ok and they’re in good enough shape to make the trip. This is a perfect time to also fill any medications that they may need while you are out on the trip.
Each pet reacts differently to riding in the car and sometimes there isn’t really even a measure you can take to acclimate them to it. Some cats will act like dogs in the car and some dogs may want nothing to do with it. Consider things like the breed, size and age of your pet before travelling to help decide the necessary accommodations that you need to make to ensure that they are safe in the vehicle.
Taking your pet out on drives is an important part of being an owner, whether it’s just to get out of the house or for a trip to the vet, no pet wants to travel exclusively in a carrier, so knowing your options and finding the right harness or barrier for your pet will make their trip a bit less stressful while keeping them safe.