How to Keep Your Pets Safe in the Car

Traveling with your pet in the car can be very convenient, whether you’re taking them to the vet or going somewhere for vacation. However, it is important to consider certain measures to protect your four-legged friend during the whole trip.

5-Minute Crafts has compiled some tips to help you get your pet safe and sound to their destination.

1. Secure your pet with a harness or in a carrier.

Just like humans, dogs should always wear their seat belts while on the road. Make sure to secure them by getting a harness especially for this purpose and, if necessary, installing a barrier that keeps your pet away from your lap. If your dog gets too uneasy due to the sights and sounds of the ride, you may want to get them a crate instead. All of this will ensure their safety and yours.

If you have a cat, you can get them a carrier and buckle it to the back seat. This will prevent your cat from being a distraction to you. Moreover, it will keep your pet from getting injured by the airbag in case of an accident or a sudden stop.

⛔ Never let your pets stick their heads out of the window while driving. Lock the windows and doors in order to prevent eye irritation, damage in their mucous membranes due to strong air currents, and choking.

2. Give your pet time to digest.

As some pets tend to get car sick, it’s a good idea to avoid feeding them right before a ride. Provide enough time for them to digest their meal or wait until after the trip to give them food.

❗ If your pet’s stomach is empty and it still gets car sick, ask your veterinarian whether they can have medication to help them with this problem.

3. Take special measures during the warmer months.

Cars can get unbearably hot even on a mild day. For instance, if the temperature outside is 71.6ºF, the temperature inside the car can reach 116.6ºF within an hour, which can be fatal for your four-legged friend.

So, it may be necessary to consider taking these extra safety measures, especially in warm weather:

  • Travel during the coolest times of the day, which can be the early morning or late evening. It may also be necessary to minimize the time in the car by avoiding busy roads and traffic jams.
  • Give your pet plenty of water. Use a non-spill water bowl to ensure access to water for the whole trip.
  • Check the car’s temperature. As the back seat or trunk can heat up quickly, open the front windows, adjust the fans, and remove the parcel shelf if the area is getting warm.
  • Keep your pet and your car cool. Use a cooling mat that your pet can lie on, and block direct sunlight with a towel or a sunshade.

4. Be very careful with pickup trucks.

Letting your pets ride in the bed of a pickup truck can result in injury in the case of a rear collision. It could also lead to your pet jumping out of the vehicle or being hit by road debris and tree branches.

❗ Even if the pickup truck is parked, leaving your pet in the flatbed could cause burns on their feet and body as metal can get extremely hot.

5. Never leave your pet alone in the vehicle.

Leaving your pet alone in an unattended car is extremely dangerous as the cabin can reach very high temperatures even with the windows down, which may cause a heat stroke. Furthermore, this action is illegal in some states.

✅ Take your pet with you whenever you leave the car, even if you think you will only be out for a couple of minutes. An unexpected delay could lead to fatal consequences.

6. Take a break during a long journey.

If you’re traveling a long distance, give your pet the chance to stretch their legs with a short walk, and offer them a drink or a snack. Take them to a nearby park or a walking area.

Never feed your dog in a moving car. This could cause choking and, since your dog will probably be in the back seat, it may be difficult for you to notice.

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