Pet safety: keeping your dog safe in the car
March 9, 2023
Nothing quite beats a drive with great views, fantastic tunes and good company. Having your furry co-pilot with you on a road trip is paws-itively one of the best ways to travel and as a pet owner you want to do everything you can to keep you and your furry friend safe.
Before you embark on along road trip with your dog, there are some things you should know to help keep your dog safe and happy while on the road. Not to worry, we'll throw you a bone. Here are some helpful pet safety tips to help you and your pet have a howling good time on your next road trip.
Tip 1: Buckle up, pup
Click! Snap! Zip!
Three magic sounds of a secured pet in the back seat. One of the safest ways for your dog to travel is in a crate that has been anchored to your ride by seatbelt or other anchor method. The carrier or crate you select should be big enough for your pet to ruff and roam with ease.
A pet harness or seat belt is a popular option among pet owners to use for furry friends in the car. If you decide to pass on the crate, it’s important to have your pet stay in the back seat in a harness that is attached to the car’s seat buckle.
Letting your pup roam freely about the car cabin can quickly lead to distracted driving, which we all know isn’t a good thing while you’re behind the wheel and trying to stay focused on the road.
Tip 2: Practice makes perfect
Dogs in TV commercials seem to love car trips. They sit politely, don't get fur on your interior and tilt their head slightly as if to say, "I'm a good boy and I know it." Unfortunately, dogs in real life may have mixed feelings about being in the car.
A great way to get your car prepped for a long car ride is to take several shorter trips in the car (think to the dog park or a local hiking trail). As time goes by, you can start increasing the distance to work up to a long distance road trip.
Something else to be mindful of is whether or not your dog gets anxious or carsick. Shorter car rides are a great way to get your pup adjusted to the car and lower their anxiety of being in your car.
If your dog does develop or has a history of getting carsick, talk to your vet about possible treatments such as medications or supplements that may ease their stomach. Here are some considerations to have in mind if you have a car sickness prone pooch:
Try not to feed your dog before hitting the road
Utilize a harness or carrier to cut down stress
Tip 3: Don’t forget the H2O
Hydration is just as important for pets as it is for humans. Keeping your pet hydrated is an essential pet safety practice to have top of mind on your road trips. A useful tip is to fill a water bottle from where you usually get your pet's water and bring it with you.You'll be prepared and it may help avoid an upset stomach that might come from an unknown water source.
Oh, and don’t forget to bring a dog-friendly bowl to put that H2O in—we know you’ve probably done the DIY bowl from cupped hands before. #FAIL
Tip 4: Pack it up, pack it in
While you're planning out the stops, snacks and packing lists for your road trip, don’t forget your dog’s road trip essentials. Here are some things to make sure you have before you hit the road:
First aid kit
Leash and collar
Favorite pet toys
Dog waste bags
If something paw-ful occurs, like a car accident, it’s always a good idea to bring along your pet’s medical records. This includes immunizations, medications or any documentation of pre-existing medical conditions.
Tip 5: Safety first
Sorry to keep hounding you about safety, but keeping your pet safe in the car is important. We’ve talked about keeping your dog secured in a crate or harness, but there are a few other safety tips to keep in mind while on the road.
Never leave a pet in a parked car—ever. There are big safety concerns with leaving your dog or any pet in a car that’s too hot or too cold. On hot days, even with the windows of your car open, your pet can quickly become overheated and run the risk of heatstroke. In cold weather, your car holds in colder temperatures which can cause your dog to freeze.
Please keep paws and heads inside the cabin. We all know the classic image of a dog leaning out the window of a car, tongue flapping in the wind, without a care in the world. As tempting as it is to create that experience for your own dog, it’s best to keep them inside the cabin of your car—protecting them from harsh temperatures or flying debris.
Identification please. If your pet ever gets lost on a road trip you always want to know that there’s a way you’ll find them again. An ID tag, typically found on a collar, or microchip are both common pet owner practices that will help others (and you) identify your pet in the event they get lost.
Tip 6: No dogs in the cockpit
We’ve mentioned it a couple of times, but man’s best friend needs to stay in the back seat on your car trips. Why? If an airbag were to deploy, it could cause serious injuries to your pet. Plus, with your companion in the front seat, it can be more distracting for you as a driver.
We want you and your pets to be friends fur-ever and have a great time on your next road trip, big or small. Anything is paw-sible so making small changes to your commute, you and your dog can have a more mindful and enjoyable road trip together.The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with HiRoad®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. HiRoad is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. HiRoad makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.
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