8 tips to safely travel with your pet in your car
Can’t go anywhere without your pet? As a member of the family, it clearly deserves the same care as anyone else when it comes time to hop in the car. But where to start in order to make sure they have a safe trip?
1. Get them accustomed
It’s a good idea to let a puppy or new pet gradually get accustomed to riding in the car. Start with short trips until you and your pet get used to traveling in the car. You’ll soon become inseparable travel companions!
2. Pets belong in the back seat
Your dog or cat belongs in the back seat for the same reason young children are supposed to ride in safety seats. That keeps them away from the front seat airbags, which could seriously injure them in an accident.
3. Keep your dog or cat in a carrier
For larger animals, large dogs in particular, the appropriate size carrier may not fit in the vehicle. In that case, a seat belt adapter should be used to keep the pets safely in their seats and ensure they don’t become projectiles in the event of a sudden stop or collision. Cats and other small animals should be kept safe in a carrier (which allows them to sit and stand up to their full height, turn around easily and lie down comfortably). The carrier should be well ventilated and properly secured so that it won’t move around. Some people even wallpaper the floor to make it more comfortable. To each his own.
4. Make them comfortable
Make sure your pets are secure and content during the journey. That way they won’t distract you when you’re driving or injure you or themselves if you have to stop quickly. Plus you don’t want them to get loose when you or your passengers get out of the car. Your beloved pets deserve to travel first class, don’t they?
5. Never leave your pet alone in the car
The answer is clear: Never leave an animal inside a car on even a mildly hot day. This can cause suffering, dehydration, serious injury and even death.
6. Exotic pets have special needs; be aware!
If you have exotic pets, make sure you provide all the elements necessary to keep them happy. Reptiles (other than snakes) need to be kept in a moist, comfortable environment. Birds on the other hand are sensitive to changes in temperature, so keep the vehicle at a constant, comfortable temperature.
7. Prepare snacks and water
Your pets will travel better if they don’t have a full stomach, so feeding should be done a few hours before you leave home. You don’t want your dog to get carsick, do you? For longer trips, always pack plenty of water, treats and food so you can provide snacks along the way.
8. Plan rest stops for your pet
Your pets need to stretch their legs and do their “business” at regular intervals. Nature calls for them too!
You are now better equipped to ensure your favourite pet can travel safely. Whether a road trip or a Sunday drive, you can leave with peace of mind, without the risk of becoming distracted while at the wheel. You can also learn more about the different sources of distractions when driving here.