Last updated on October 27th, 2017 at 09:00 am
For most people with dogs (or cats!), your furry friend is an important part of the family. So when you take your lovable four-legger on the road, remember to consider their safety and ensure that your furry passenger doesn’t become a distraction to you while driving.
After all, you wear a seat belt and take other precautions to keep yourself safe … why not take a few extra steps for your pet, too? Here are some pet travel safety tips to use on your next road trip, whether it’s across town or a multi-state trek.
Depending on the size of your pet, you might opt for a seat belt, a crate/carrier, or a car barrier that can be placed between the front and back seats. Your pet should always be in the back seat for safety purposes so they are away from the airbags in the event one deploys in an accident.
If your pet is accompanying you on a long trip, you might think about packing the following items:
- Water – Either bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs, and a spill-proof bowl.
- Pre-packaged food – Bring along your pet’s usual food, and pre-pack each meal in a sealed bag or container.
- Biscuits, treats, toys – A favorite toy or two relieves stress.
- Towels – Bring along some old towels in case your pet takes a swim or an unexpected mud bath.
- Medications – Don’t forget any pills, ointments, or anything else you give your pet at home.
- Plastic bags – For cleaning up after your pet.
- Cleaning supplies – in case there’s an upset stomach or “accident” on the road. You’ll want some upholstery cleaner, glass cleaner, a roll of paper towels and a garbage bag for the refuse.
While on the road, consider these other pet travel safety tips:
- Stop every couple of hours to let your pet take a break and have some water.
- Try to avoid letting your pet ride with its head out the window – eye, ear, and head injuries could result.
- It’s not a good idea to leave your pet unattended in a car (even for a short period of time). Make sure someone is always with them and the car is at a comfortable temperature. And never, ever leave a pet in the car on hot days.
- Always put your pet on the leash before opening the door or tailgate to let them out.
If you’ll be away from home for several days, be sure to check out to the guest’s etiquette guide for traveling with your pets.
Taking safety precautions and doing a little extra planning can help keep your pet safe and happy during car rides. And, you can even get protection in the car for your pet, too. Plymouth Rock Assurance offers pet injury protection as part of an optional upgrade package.