It’s Spring Break time in many parts of the country, and many families are traveling to warmer climates to shake off the winter. If you’re hitting the road with your furry friends, keep these pet travel safety tips in mind:
- Dogs should be secured in vehicles at all times. A travel harness is a good bet to keep your dog from roaming the vehicle and distracting the driver, but to ensure your dog’s maximum protection in the event of an accident, use a crate or carrier. Secure the crate with a seat belt for added protection.
- Cats should always ride in carriers. Most cats do not enjoy riding in cars, and scared cats can be unpredictable. They may dart into the driver’s floorboard or otherwise distract the driver in their attempts to seek safety, and this can cause accidents. Keep your kitty safe in a small carrier. You can even drape a blanket over the carrier to help kitty fall asleep during the trip.
- Always keep pets in the back seat. Just like children, pets are safest when riding properly restrained or contained in the back seat. In the event of an accident, front and side airbags can harm your pet in the front seat, even if they are crated.
- Keep heads and limbs inside the vehicle. We know that dogs love to stick their heads out the window during road trips, but they can be injured by debris particles and can become sick by having cold air forced into their lungs. In addition, they can be seriously or fatally injured if an accident happens.
- Take plenty of rest stops. Especially on long trips, stop frequently for bathroom and exercise breaks to keep your pets happy and content during your trip. Always keep your pet’s collar with ID tag on during rest stops, and keep dogs on a leash at all times. If you’re traveling with kids and pets, maximize your rest stops by having the kids run the dogs on a leash until they’re both tired enough to sleep peacefully for a while.
- Never leave your pet alone in the car. Even on seemingly cool days, the temperature inside your car can increase with frightening speed. Even with the windows opened slightly, the temperature inside your car can climb over 100 degrees on a sunny 85-degree day. In addition, pets left alone in cars become targets for thieves and well-meaning pet advocates who may break out windows to “save” your pet.
Pets are part of the family, and many families wish to take them along on their beach or other summertime excursions. Following these traveling with pets tips will ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation for the whole family.