Many pet owners enjoying bringing their furry friend on the road with them whether they are traveling near or far.  In fact did you know that according to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association (APPMA) 2006 National Pet Owner Survey, 84% of pet owners say they travel with their pet in automobiles?  If you are one of these animal lovers that likes to bring your pet for a ride, follow these tips to ensure that it is as safe as possible.

  • Safely Secure Your Pet!  It is extremely dangerous to leave your pet unrestrained in a moving vehicle.  If there were ever to be an accident or even a sudden stop, your pet would be in serious danger.  They could easily fly through the windshield or injur the driver and any passengers in the car.  The best way to secure a dog or cat is to put them in a travel crate that is tied down.  A pet harness/seatbelt is also a viable option, especially for large dogs.
  • Never attach a restraint device to an animal’s collar.  Should the animal jerk one way or be involved in an accident, it could lead to strangulation or injury.
  • Don’t let your pets ride with their head out the window!  Even though many pets enjoy feeling the breeze through their hair, it is hazardous for them because dirt and bugs can easily get caught in their nose, ears, mouth, or throat which may lead to health problems down the road.  There is also always the chance that a nearby object such as a street sign may strike their head and result in injury or death.
  • Never leave your pet inside a parked car!  Imagine being stuck inside a sweltering car with the windows up on a hot summer day?  Now imagine wearing a fur coat on top of that.  Leaving your pet inside a parked car on a hot or even warm day can lead to heat stroke or even death.  Cold weather is just as dangerous for pets, so avoid a potential tragedy and don’t leave your pet in a parked car no matter what the weather is like.
  • Bring some extra water and food for your pet, especially if you’re going on a long drive.  All animals, but especially dogs tend to get excited in the car which makes them pant more.  Panting will make them thirsty so having some extra water will come in handy, and the food or treats are good in case you’re traveling a long distance.
  • If you’re taking a long drive, stop every few hours to stretch and let your pet go to the bathroom.  Make sure you have their leash handy as well so you have control of them in an unfamiliar area.
  • If you’re bringing your pet on vacation with you, create a travel tag that you can attach to their collar.  Write down exactly where you’ll be staying and the best phone number to reach you.  Should you and your pet get separated, it will be much easier for you to be reunited once your pet is found.

If you’re traveling with your pet, it is your responsibility to make their safety a priority!  Follow these tips next time you’re in the car with your furry friend, it will ensure a fun and safe car ride!

Source: Pet Travel Center

Photo By: ~ggvic~