A recent poll taken by the American Pet Products Manufacturers (APPMA) revealed that almost 50% of those surveyed regularly take their dog with them when they travel in the car. But the bad news is that almost all of them failed to safely “buckle up” their dogs to prevent the animal from being injured in case there was an accident.
It’s difficult to say why so many loving dog owners take such a nonchalant attitude towards safety when traveling with their canine companions. However, it’s never too late to change your habits. So along with ensuring that your dog stays in one piece in the event of a crash, there are additional safety tips that can help keep him alive and well to enjoy the ride.
Buckle Up Your Dog Just Like You Do
Every dog enjoys being able to run loose inside of a moving vehicle, but it’s not a smart choice for you to allow this to happen. Should an accident occur he could be thrown through the windshield and cut up into a million pieces. And any dog that is naturally over-excited could jump on your lap and make you lose control of the steering wheel.
The easiest solution to this problem is to purchase a dog seat belt. These products are very comfortable for your pet and allow the animal to lie down, sit, and change positions of necessary. And should an accident occur, the dog seat belt will prevent him from being injured. They also come in various styles and sizes to fit any breed.
If you have to wait for your dog seat belt to be delivered, and you would like an alternative option, you can also buckle up your dog in the back seat by using the middle seat belt. Simply fasten it up and loop your dog’s leash through it. Just be sure he is comfortable enough and that the leash is attached to a harness and not a collar, as this could choke him.
Keep Your Dog’s Head Inside
Living near a dog park, I see at least a dozen people drive by with their dog’s head excitedly poking out of the window, not to mention dogs being allowed to walk around the bed of a moving truck. While this may seem suitable, it is also quite dangerous.
Just because your dog loves having the wind in his face that does not mean that it is responsible or safe for you to permit this. Flying debris, dust, and rocks have been known to blind dogs and cause severe trauma to the skull. Infections often occur as well. And of course the worst case scenario is that your dog could jump out, getting smashed by a vehicle behind you in traffic.
All you have to do is keep your pet inside of the vehicle at all times while moving. If the temperature is hot, simply turn the air conditioning on. You may also crack the windows a bit to help with more airflow, but only several inches. A window shade is another good idea to help keep your dog cool.
Dog Travel – How To Make The long Road Trip More Comfortable For Your Dog
Traveling with your puppy or dog can be a lot of fun. It’s a great way to bond with your pet while experiencing new places along the way. If your road trip is going to be a long one then you need to take a few extra steps to plan accordingly and ensure that you and your puppy get to your destination safe and happy. Here are a few suggestions that can help:
- The last thing you want to do is have to clean up the nasty mess of diarrhea inside your car. And your puppy or dog can easily give you this headache when you do not stick to his regular feeding times and with his normal food. It is very easy to feed your dog inconsistently when you are making a long trip by car. However, it will be best for both of you if you bring along bags of his normal food and only feed him at the same time you would at home.
- Although it is obvious that you do not plan on ever losing sight of your dog during your travels, you should still make sure that his collar is secured tightly and that he has updated identification tags. If for some reason you’re making a temporary stay for more than a day at a location until you arrive at your final destination, add an additional identification tag that has the address and phone number of that temporary location.
- When you make a pit stop along the way, always leash your dog before he gets out of the car and keep a tight grip on him. Because he is in unfamiliar territory and may scare easily, the instinct to dart and run off may be strong. Keeping him tightly leashed will prevent this nightmare from happening.
- Try to avoid traveling by car during weather periods of extreme heat and high levels of humidity. Dogs do not do well in this type of climate and if you must travel when it’s hot then be sure your vehicle is equipped with a dependable air-conditioning system.
- Every time you stop for a break during the trip, make sure you give your dog a few moments to exercise. Take your dog for a short walk or run him around the block. This will help get his blood flowing so that he can relax better for the next few hours of the ride.
- Last but not least, as much as it is common sense, do not keep your dog in your car with the doors locked and windows rolled up. This is just basic safety advice that every person should know already, but unfortunately there are many accidents where dog’s die from heat stroke while sitting in a car during boiling hot weather.
The information shared on this site is for information only. It does not take the place of professional advice from your pet’s healthcare provider.