Driving with Pets
We love our pets, and because of that, we tend to take them everywhere with us. While some pets love to ride in the car, other pets may be a little more skittish. Whether your pet begs for the next ride in the car or needs to be transported via a carrier, you’ll eventually have to take your pet in the car. So next time you do take your four legged friend with you on the road, make sure to do it safely by observing these tips.
While many dogs love to stick their heads out the window, it’s never safe to let your pet put any part of their body outside of the car while you drive. The wind will seriously irritate many of the animal’s mucous membranes and passing bits of dust and debris could irritate or even seriously injure your pet. If you are going to allow your animal to put their head out the window, make sure they do so in the back seat and keep the window rolled up enough that your animal can’t fit the rest of their body outside. This means your animal should never be allowed to ride in the bed of a truck. It is estimated that at least 100,000 dogs die in accidents every year due to riding in a truck bed. And not only is this dangerous for your animal, but it can also lead to accidents harming people around you as well.
In case your pet and you become separated once you stop the car, make sure to have proper microchip registration and identification on your pet at all times. This way it will be easier to be reunited with your pet if they are to become lost. Try to attach leashes to any loose pets before opening the door to the car and make sure that your pet is properly restrained when you exit the vehicle to prevent your pet from being injured or lost.
If you’re only leaving the vehicle for a short amount of time, remember, it is never safe to leave a pet unattended in a vehicle. Cars heat up fast, even with windows cracked, and too many dogs die from heatstroke due to being left in a hot car.
While driving, make sure your pet remains in the back of the car, preferable in a crate or behind a special divider. While we want to have our pets in the front seat or on our laps while we drive, keeping the pet restrained will allow you to avoid unforeseen issues or distractions that could cause you or your animal to be in an accident.
Keeping your pet safe is the responsibility of you as the owner, and while we often overlook some of the safest options for our pets, it is important to remember that they need to be treated as pets while on the road in order to ensure the safety of both your pet and you as a driver. By following the advice above both you and your pet can have a safer, more enjoyable car ride.