Tips for Driving With Your Pet In The Car

January 18th, 2017 by

Head out, ears flapping, and wind blowing through their fur, you just know that there’s a big smile on that dog’s face! For many dogs, a car ride is the best thing ever but traveling with their head out the window, unrestrained isn’t a safe way to travel. Here are some simple tips to keeping your pet safe and happy while traveling in the car.

Restrain your pet
Keeping all passengers safe, including your pets, should be your number one concern. A loose dog in the car is distracting for
the driver which could result in an accident. It also isn’t a safe way for your dog to travel. Just like we wear seatbelts, your dog should be restrained as well. The most popular restraints are pet carriers and crates, pet seatbelt restraint systems and bedding restraints. If using a carrier or crate, make sure it is properly secured. If you choose to travel with your pet unrestrained which we do not recommend, don’t allow your pet to hang out the window. Although dogs love it, it puts your dog at risk for injury from debris and damage and/or infection to their ears and lungs. Another common practice that should be avoided is allowing your pet to ride in the back of a pickup truck. Not only can this lead to overheating but your dog could be ejected from the truck. It is estimated that 100,000 dogs die a year from being thrown out of the truck bed.

Prepare your dog for the trip
Consider feeding and exercise before your car trip. Feed your dog at least a few hours before the trip. This is especially important for dogs that get car sickness, set aside time to allow their food to digest. Taking your dog for a long walk or outside to run around before the car trip will help your pet rest and relax during the trip. If you are going on a long road trip, allow plenty of time for frequent stops for bathroom breaks, feeding and walks. 

Pack for the trip
Depending on how long your car trip is, pack appropriately. For a short trip, you will want to have a leash, plastic bags for waste disposal (otherwise known as poop bags), water and water bowl, and a blanket and/or bed and toys for comfort. For a longer trip, you should pack food, food bowl, any medications, and treats. Make sure your dog always has dog tags on and that the tags are up-to-date with your correct contact information. No matter how well behaved your pet is, you never know when they might get away from you.

Don’t leave dog in a parked car
You should never leave your pet in a parked car especially in warmer temperatures. It is life threatening as a dog can get heat stroke or die quickly in a parked car. Keep in mind, 85 degrees outside can quickly reach 110 degrees inside a car. If you must leave your pet in a car, do not leave for longer than 5 minutes, park in the shade with the windows open and lock your car doors. Laws vary state to state; however, it is illegal to leave a pet in a parked car in many states.

You don’t have to leave man’s best friend behind. Follow these simple steps to creating a safe and enjoyable road trip for both you and your pet. And remember before setting out on a road trip, make sure your vehicle is in tip-top running condition. To schedule service, go to Tischer Service.