This holiday season, make sure you and your pet are ready to travel safely. Read on and find out if you’re prepared for an upcoming car trip with your fur babies.
Keep your pets contained
Ideally, have a carrier or a car seat that can keep your pet safely in place during the car ride. Cats feel safer in an enclosed space so a carrier is ideal for them. Dogs, depending on their size and character, might enjoy being in a carrier or in a more spacious car seat.
In general, it is safer to have your pet contained to an area of your car so that they don’t accidentally distract you from driving, damage the interior, or hurt themselves.
Use the backseat to transport pets
For similar reasons, try to have your pet in the backseat rather than in the front. Having a pet in the front seat is not just distracting – it is potentially dangerous. If your pet gets too excited or agitated during the trip, it’s likely they can physically affect your smooth driving. They might also get in the way of your unobstructed view of the road. If there was an accident, an airbag can be a serious hazard as it can hurt your pet. Make sure to always disable the air bag if you’re transporting your pet in the front seat.
Windows are best kept closed
While it might be fun for your pet to stick their head out the window and enjoy the breeze, from the point of view of safety it is not recommended. A smaller pet might escape through or fall out of the window, and a bigger one might get hurt. Open you windows just enough to have the air circulate inside, or keep them closed and turn on your AC.
Plan extra stops during the trip
Both you and your pet could use a few more stops. Take your pet out for a brief walk if they’re not overwhelmed by the car ride (do use a leash and make sure your pet has a tag with your up-to-date contact information just in case). Your pet might be more relaxed when the car is not moving (less noise, less stuffy, you can focus on them for a little while), so having a small meal, drinking water, or taking a toilet gets a bit easier. When you return to the car, make sure that the pet carrier or car seat is securely fastened and everything is in place to continue the ride without accidents.
Bring another human with you
Traveling alone with your pet is certainly doable but if you can, bring another human along. This person can focus on the pet, sit next to them, entertain them, or calm them down while you’re driving. You can take turns driving and looking after the pet. Having a friend on board will make your trip a great bonding experience.
If you leave the car, your pet goes with you
We’ve heard it probably a million times but it’s important to say it again and again – do not leave your pet alone in the car for any amount of time. It seems not too hot or cold outside, or you think you’ll be gone for a very short time, but things can change quickly. We can’t always predict what’s going to happen: a long line at the public bathroom, a phone call you have to take, a mistake at the check-out that takes time to correct. To be on the safe side, always take your pet with you when you leave the car, or ask your travel buddies to look after your pet (make sure they know what they’re supposed to do and won’t just leave the car).
Happy holidays to you and your furry family. Travel safely. If you’re looking for a pet carrier or car seat, we have a few great options for pets big and small.