There is nothing more distressing to me than driving by someone who has their pet in lap as they drive. While it’s obvious there is a bond between the pet and its owner, I can’t help but worry about the pet’s safety. A simply accident and the family dog could be severely injured or worse by hitting a steering wheel or by an airbag deploying. In fact, the accident itself could be the result of the pet suddenly moving or distracting the driver.
There is a reason small children aren’t allowed to ride in the front seat until they are a certain weight and height. While an airbag certainly prevents many injuries, the force of it going off is a violent action. A small body, whether it’s a child or a pet aren’t designed to withstand such force.
Pet safety seats are a way to keep your dog or cat safe whether it’s on a trip to the park or while traveling across country. Many are easy to hook up and even easier to secure your pet in. Often it’s a matter of using a safety strap that secures with a seat belt. One of the advantages for a smaller pet is the raised seat allows them to easily watch out the window. They are also easy to remove so it doesn’t take much to switch them to another vehicle.
It’s not just traveling that can pose a risk to pets. Leaving them alone in a vehicle in the summer makes them vulnerable to the heat. A car can get as warm as 120 degrees while parked and just opening a window will help in cooling them off.
Time for a Vacation? Plan Accordingly
Summer is coming and vacation plans are being made. If you’re like many pet owners, this trip involves taking the family pet along. A car seat is even more important, but so are other accessories.
Just as you do with the rest of the family, prepare a list in advance of what your pet will need on the trip, from having enough food to bringing their favorite water dish. Any medicines your pet may need should be at the top of the list, as well as some of their personal belongings such as blankets and toys.
Whether flying on an airplane, traveling in the family vehicle, or touring the country in an RV, a pet carrier is a good idea. An airline approved dog carrier could function for all of these. And there are even carriers that function like slings, making it easy to take your pet around as you take in the scenery.
If you don’t want to go with a car seat for your pet, then consider a pet travel crate. This will give them a little room to walk around and if you decorate it with their favorite blankets and toys it could seem like a second home for them. It will also come in handy if you have to leave for a while and can’t take them along.
Going to a warm location can mean your pet can become overly warm, not just during the day, but at night. Cooling mats or cooling vests are easy to use and do a lot to keep your pet comfortable.
One thing not to overlook is to have an easily readable engraveable Pet ID tag. It wouldn’t take much for your dog to suddenly jump out the door when you’ve stopped after a long day of driving. If your dog or cat has a pet id with your cell phone number on it, it will make things easier if someone finds them running around the campground.
Do you and your pet travel frequently? If I’ve left off something that travelers might find of interest, please leave something in our comments section.