Pet owners have many reasons to bring their furry friends along for summer travel — and making sure you’re transporting them safely should be a top priority. One of the biggest jobs already for pet owners is to keep their pets safe. There are a few basic safety precautions to consider whenever you road trip with your furry friend, including restraints, up-to-date health checks, vaccinations, and pet-friendly travel kits that include everything from water and food bowls to doggie bags.
We spend as much time as possible researching everything we need to know throughout their lives and through adoption options when it comes to having a new fur baby on the way. We spend tons of time researching what to feed them, what their ailments are, where the puppy should sleep, how to keep the temperature of the house safe, and whether we should feed them that delicious burger from Mcdonald’s. We check with our vet to see if they are eating the right vitamins and taking in the right minerals. We have blood tests to check whether they are sick and we have a full blood count that is safe. And then many of us listen to our parents, who were born in the 60s, 70s, or 80s, and take their advice on car safety that has long been outdated.
Keeping Everyone Safe in the Car While Traveling with Pets
When it comes to car safety, it’s not just about the accidents on the way you drive on the road. It’s about making sure your fur babies are in the car, safely buckled, at the right temperature, and facing the right way. You need to be able to keep the pets in their seats while you drive, and you have to make sure that you are making the right choice on car seat belts. It’s confusing, but the place you’d turn without the correct safety gear is The Law Offices of George Salinas, because if you get in an accident, you’ll need support. Did you know there are studies to show that while car seat safety is at an all-time high, the number of fatalities that happen outside of traffic is still prevalent? Understanding the best car safety tips goes beyond the seating, and while you may already be aware that you should buckle up your pets in a car, here are some things to make sure your babies stay safe.
- Just like humans should wear seat belts in case of a crash, dogs should be properly strapped into a crash-tested restraint, whether that’s an enclosed pet carrier or a travel safety harness. These restraints don’t just lessen the chances of serious injury to your dog during an accident — they can also keep them from escaping inside the car and distracting the driver. Like Chala used to do when she would climb up onto the center console and into the front passenger seat.
- Say no to snacks. You probably already have a layer of crumbs on the floor in the backseat, but it’s not a good idea. Skipping snacks in the car means that you don’t have to worry about anybody choking behind you because you are doing 100 miles an hour on the highway, and you can’t turn around to help. While you spend time in the car, the best practice is to make sure that everybody has a snack to get in the car with, and you only eat when you are safely stopped. It could be something as innocent as a potato chip, but if your dog starts to choke (like my dog Chala EVERY TIME we give her a tortilla-type chip) and you are driving and can’t rescue the situation, you could be looking at an even bigger accident because you’ll be panicked and distracted. It’s just safer to say no to snacks.
Chala & Mia Pre-Seatbelts
- Be aware of parking lots. Never allow your dear pet to walk away without you. There are many hazards that could await once your pet is away from your property or out of your sight. You already know that if your pets are out of the car, or out of the house you need to have them on a leash and know where they are at all times. Pets running through parking lots? Probably not a good plan. Keep them close and keep teaching them not to run out into traffic.
- Additionally, never leave your pet alone in a car, at any time, for any reason. Especially in the summer, “heat stroke can be deadly and can happen in minutes,” said Wolko. This scenario results in many pet deaths every year, Douglas Kratt, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He said you should leave your dog at home while running errands in the summer — temperatures inside cars can quickly rise to life-threatening levels, even if you crack the windows open or park in the shade.
- A dog first aid kit is very important to have at home or to bring when you go on holiday. Your kit should include the same kinds of things you would expect in a kit made for humans, such as gauze, medical tape, an antiseptic product, hydrogen peroxide, a thermometer, your pet’s medical records, and contact information for his or her vet and nearby emergency clinics.
- Secure loose items. The luggage that you have in the boot of the car should be snug and safe, but if you have a large vehicle, and you have to emergency stop on the highway then that luggage can come flying forward. Making sure that you are securing everything in the vehicle is important for the whole family. It can be enough to injure or kill anybody even in a minor collision.
Car safety is non-negotiable for you as an adult and your pets, you all deserve to drive safely when you are in a car. instead of panicking that the dogs are going to be hurt and fly forward into your seat if you hit the brake, or an accident is going to happen, make sure that everybody is just exactly aware of how to behave when they are in the car and that everyone is buckled up.