A survey by the American Automobile Association found that out of 80% of dog owners’ who travel with pets in the car, only 16% use the correct safety restraints, according to Pet Pro Supply Co. There is nothing quite exciting, like traveling with the family dog on a road trip. In fact, for many pet owners, a vacation isn’t fun if their furry friends can’t tag along. However, driving with a pet in tow can be stressful, as they need plenty of attention.
Also, if not appropriately restrained, dogs tend to cause distracted driving. For this reason, you should commit to following the right safety measures to ensure everyone in the car, including your pet, is safe and comfortable.
Prep Your Dog for the Long Trip
Most people assume that their dogs would love to go for an adventure, but that’s not always the case. Pets feel anxious around unfamiliar environments and meeting new people. So, before leaving for a road trip, evaluate your dog’s personality. Monitor how they react when exposed to new surroundings. You can achieve the best results by taking a short series of car travel and increase the time spent on the road.
If your furry friend remains calm, you can rest assured they can tolerate long-distance journeys, unfamiliar places, and new people. Traveling with an anxious pet is the last thing you want to do, as they can easily distract you.
Choose the Right Car
If by any chance, your current car is small, you might want to consider shopping for a dog-friendly vehicle. There are plenty of automobile options for dog owners out there. For instance, the Chrysler Pacifica is ideal for both small and large animals as it has sufficient cargo space. It also has a low loading door and sliding side doors that make getting in and out of the vehicle easy for small and older dogs.
By finding the right vehicle, you can rest assured of enhanced comfort and safety for your dogs. The key is to find one that meets the needs of your pet, based on size and age. Additionally, some cars come with pet safety accessories like optional barriers between cargo space and seats. This feature is ideal for preventing pets from distracting their masters.
Get a Tag and Microchip Tracker
Pets are notorious for running after small animals and distractions when you let them loose. As a result, they can easily get lost on road trips. But with a pet identification and tracking system in place, reuniting with your furry friend becomes easy. Get a tag with your full address and microchip tracker implanted in your dog before hitting the road. It is also worth noting that tranquilizing pets when they become anxious is not advisable. If you find your dog showing signs of fear or anxiety while on the road, it would be best to consult a vet for relaxation tips.
Invest in a Proper Pet Crate or Harness
Using a crate or carrier is one of the best ways to safely restrain your dog in the car. A rule of thumb is to ensure the carrier is well ventilated and spacious for your furry friend to lie down, stand, sit, and turn around. Make sure to secure the carrier to prevent it from shifting or sliding if you make an abrupt stop.
If crating your dog isn’t the best option due to their size, consider using a harness. With the right straps, you can ensure your pet stays at the backseat without his head reaching out the windows.
Allow Fresh Air In
Letting your dog’s head hang outside the window might seem fun, but it can lead to severe injuries. They could get hit by an object causing head injury. The chilly air entering their ears can increase the risk of ear damage. Not to mention debris and dust can get in the eyes, resulting in infection. Apart from getting hurt, excited canines are fond of jumping outside the window, which may cause a fatal accident.
If your pet has trouble sleeping in the car, open the windows to allow fresh air in. Alternatively, find practical ways to keep your dog entertained. Don’t forget their favorite chew toys and treats, and make multiple stops for your furry friend to sniff around and stretch his legs.
Never Leave Pets in Parked Vehicles
Another essential car safety consideration is never to leave your pet alone in the car. Even for a brief period, your vehicle might overheat, causing the animal to suffocate. During the cold season, leaving pets inside parked vehicles increases the risk of freezing to death.
Traveling with dogs should not create discomfort for anyone. As a pet owner, make sure to follow the right safety tips and maintain your dog’s daily routine. Also, feed your pet four hours before departure to keep them satisfied and prevent vomiting.