Pet Safety Tips for Your Summer Road Trips

Updated: Jul. 22, 2021 at 10:45 AM EDT
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Keep your pet restrained, not just to protect your fur baby, but also yourself! Fact: a 20lb dog = 600lbs of force at 30mph! In addition, we all know distracted driving is a problem. Having your dog restrained will lessen the need to take your eyes off the road. Despite all those funny videos of dog jowls flapping in the wind, it's not safe to let your dog hang their head out the window. Proper ID is important in case your pet decides to dash off during a rest stop. Before any road trip or travel, make sure your pet is microchipped for identification. Your pet should have a collar and tag imprinted with your name and contact information, such as your cell number. Ahead of a longer trip, take your pet on shorter jaunts to gauge how they handle the car. Then take them on more frequent short rides to get them used to it. Bring along their favorite toys or blanket for the ride, as familiar smells and textures from home will help pets relax. Pack collapsible bowls and water bottles designed for pets, as well as special travel storage containers for food and water. Avoid feeding your pet in the car. Lighter, smaller meals during stops along the way are best. Never leave your pet unattended in the car – no exceptions! Take frequent exercise breaks on long car rides. Always have an appropriate fitting collar/harness with a leash, in addition to proper ID. Your pet will be most safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. Make sure the crate or carrier is large enough for your pet to be able to comfortably stand, sit, lie down and turn around. It's important to secure your pet's crate so it doesn't slide if in the cases of unexpected abrupt stops. If you decide against a crate for any reason, always keep your pet in the back seat in a harness attached to a seat buckle. UV rays and heat can be harmful, especially on long car rides. Window tint can protect from dangerous UV rays and greatly reduces heat throughout the vehicle. However, that doesn't mean you can leave your pet inside the car unattended – it just protects against those harmful rays and heat while driving. If you want to protect your car against pet damage, make sure your pet is groomed and their nails are trimmed before you go to cut down on fur particles and scratching damage. Oftentimes our pet co-pilots can surprise us with anything from car sickness to christening our vehicle as their new bathroom. Be prepared with an airtight trash bag, paper towel and a pack of disinfectant wipes, and consider fabric protection for your car interior to keep it safe from pet stains.