The day will come if it hasn’t already when you find yourself needing to travel with your pet. It may just be a fun trip or something as serious as a trip to the veterinarian. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind to protect you and your pet.
Driving while distracted is one of the leading causes of accidents. Taking your eyes off the road for as little as two seconds doubles your chances of getting into an accident. To prevent any distractions don’t travel with an unrestrained pet in your car. A pet carrier or crate is a good option for keeping your pet restrained. You can add a soft blanket or pillow to increase their comfort and give them something to snuggle with. Also, make sure the carrier has enough room for the animal to move around and lie down. When using a pet carrier, don’t strap it down with a seat belt, just putting is on the floor of the vehicle behind the front seat or driver’s seat will suffice.
For a trained animal like a dog, you can use a pet harness. Harnesses are designed to restrain the animal. They allow you to use the seatbelt to keep your pet in an upright or sitting position. When using a harness make sure it’s not too tight, allowing the animal to wiggle around.
If you want to go on a long drive with your pet, start small so that they get used to it then you can gradually increase the time spent in the car. Your pet can get stressed out and anxious if the trip goes on too long, with some animals, like puppies experiencing motion sickness. Taking smaller test trips helps you learn how your pet reacts to rides and other behaviours they exhibit. Motions sickness in pets’ manifests in vomiting, profuse drooling, crying, lethargy, and general unease. You can speak to a vet if you think your pet is experiencing motion sickness or anxiety.
You’ll need to bring along some things with you. Guard against dehydration by bringing along some water. Also, consider carrying some a bowl, food, a leash, and plastic bags for scooping waste. If you’re travelling with a cat, set up a litter box to prevent messes, especially for long trips. You should make sure your pet has an ID tag that’s updated with your contact information should you accidentally be separated.
If you’re going on a long trip, plan for regular stops. Your pet could get antsier and feel claustrophobic the longer they are in the enclosed space or carrier. Stop frequently to allow them to stretch, exercise, and relieve themselves.
Engage child lock to prevent a situation where a harnessed pet accidentally opens a door or window just by pushing on the wrong button or pulling on the wrong lever.
Wear your pet out with exercise before trips, especially long trips. They’ll be less nervous and more likely to sleep through the ride.
If possible, bring a friend with you so that someone else can look after the pet, leaving your focus fully on the road.
- Don’t leave your pet in the car alone or unattended.
- Never allow your pet to sit on your lap while driving.
- Never allow your pet to sit unrestrained, especially in the front seat.
- Never allow your pet to stick any part of their body out the window.
- Don’t feed your pet in a moving vehicle to prevent accidental choking.
- Never make your pet ride in the bed of a pick-up truck whether leashed or not. A tangled leash could lead to accidental strangulation.
Before you hit the road, buckle your pets in as you would yourself and any children who are riding with you.
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