How to Travel Safely with a Pet?

If you are like most families, your dog or cat or other pet is treated like a member of the family. Pets give us love and comfort and fun. Families with children often have dogs and cats to teach their children compassion and responsibility. The children love their pets and experience unconditional love from them. They learn to be responsible for them by walking their pets, feeding them, and taking care of them.

That is why it is so important to consider our pets’ safety when traveling with them. Because car accidents happen all the time, you never know when it is going to happen to you. No matter how safe we are and no matter how much of a defensive driver we are, there is still a chance of a negligent driver causing a crash. That is why we must do things to protect our pets when we travel with them. After all, you would not put your child in the car without a car seat, right? In the same manner, it is also prudent to secure your pets when travelling – for your safety and theirs.  

10 Tips to Keep Our Pets Safe When They Ride with Us in the Car

Many of these tips can be used for any kind of pet, but it is geared mostly for dogs and cats. Most people will not take their beloved family goldfish to run errands with them. So, these tips are not geared to family pets like that. Here are 7 tips that you can consider using to keep your pet safe when they travel for you in a vehicle:

1. Dogs and Cats Should Not Roam In The Vehicle

One way to keep your pets safe while in the car with you is to not let them roam around the vehicle. They should be confined somehow, ideally in a crate that’s fastened. The point is that if they are roaming around the inside of the vehicle and you are hit by another driver in an accident, your pet could be seriously injured. The crash will throw them around inside the car, but if they are secured inside a crate which is itself tied down somehow, this will not happen.

2. Pets Should Not Be in The Front Seat

The back seat is generally thought of as the safest place in the vehicle. If a dog or cat is contained in a carrier, use the back seat seatbelts to fasten them in. It will provide the most protection from either a front-end collision or a rear end collision. Also, if they are in the front passenger seat during a crash, your pet may be seriously injured or even killed by the airbag engaging. Those airbags are designed to protect humans, not pets.

3. Keep Dogs’ Heads Inside the Car

This is going to be a tough one to follow, given dogs’ joy of sticking their heads out the car window and enjoying the breezes in the face, but there is risk of injury if you allow your dog to do this. If your dog’s head is sticking out of the car window then there is a risk that they might be hit by something, either debris being kicked up by your tires or even another car that accidentally drove too close to you. This also goes for a related issue of allowing your dogs to travel in the back of a truck, in the truck bed. This is extremely dangerous for your dog if you get into an accident. There is nothing that can protect your dog who is riding in the truck bed. If you get into an accident, your dog could easily be thrown out of the truck and land dozens of feet away.

4. Make Several Stops on Long Trips

Do not forget to make several pit stops for your pet during long trips. This will help you, the driver, continue to stay alert and awake and to stretch your legs, but your dog as well. Make their ride more comfortable by giving them bathroom breaks and let them stretch their legs. Make sure that your pet is always on a leash, has a collar with a tag on it with contact information, just in case your dog gets loose.

5. Do Not Leave Your Pet Alone in the Car

There are news stories all the time of people leaving their pets in their vehicles on hot days. Usually, it is on the news because someone smashed out a window to save the pet. On days when it is hot out, just leave your pet at home if you cannot take them inside the store with you. The problem is that on merely mildly hot days, even with the windows partially rolled down, it can become too hot for pets. Even on a mild, 75-degree day, it can take only 10 minutes for the inside of a car to get to 104 degrees, putting your pet at risk. Dogs can only regulate their internal heat by mostly panting. If it gets too hot inside the vehicle too quickly, it could kill your pet.

6. Pets Can Get Car Sick

Dogs can get car sick just like humans do. One way to help them go through long trips in the car is to feed them a few hours before you begin the trip. Having a full belly will help prevent car sickness and having an accident inside your vehicle.

7. Take Test Trips Before a Long Trip

If your pet is not used to traveling long distances in a vehicle, take them on several shorter trips with you. This will allow them to associate your vehicle with something positive and they will be more comfortable spending long periods of time in the car. Ultimately, you want your pet to be relaxed enough that they can nap just like they do most of the day while at home.

8. Bring Enough Water for Your Pet to Drink

Pet owners often forget about bringing water for their pet to drink during a long trip. Not only is the water important remember but also remember to pack a bowl or something for them to drink out of. This brings up a related topic of packing a travel bag specifically for your pet. When you go on a trip, you will pack some luggage for yourself. You pack a bag for your pet as well. Your pet’s travel bag should include food, toys, extra leash, pick-up bags for their bathroom trips, grooming supplies, medication, water, and bowls to drink and eat out of. When your pet has the things that they are used to, they will feel more comfortable and relaxed with familiar items around them.

9. Microchip Your Pet

If you have not done so already, make sure to have your pet microchipped. This will help significantly if your pet gets loose in an area that they are not used to. It will help you recover your lost loved one and family member.

10. Bring Your Pet’s Vaccination Records

If you are traveling across state lines, it might be a good idea to bring your pet’s vaccination records just in case you need to prove that they are currently vaccinated.

The Springfield Car Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Can Answer Your Car Accident Questions

If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a car crash, you may have a lot of questions about what should be done and what to do first. The Springfield car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law have decades of experience in helping those seriously injured by other driver’s negligence. Call us at 912-754-6003 or contact us online for a consultation. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients throughout Effingham County.