Car Pet Safety

Pets are often like family. We spoil them, take good care of them, and they never leave our side. Just like with family, we should take precautions when driving with our pet in the car. The easiest way to do so is to treat them just like a passenger. Below are some tips on how to keep you pet safe in your car.

Use a Pet Restraint

There are several options depending on the size of your pet and they vary from crates and carriers to harnesses that attach to your vehicle’s seat belts. Whatever your choice, make sure they have been crash tested and that your pet will be comfortable. PetMD lists some great options you could use.

Take Frequent Breaks

Just like a person, your pet will need to “stretch out” their legs and take bathroom breaks. Many pets are like children and will start to get restless if they’re in a car for too long. Make sure to stop every 2-3 hours when on long trips so they can run around, get some energy out and do their business.

Bring Water, Food, Treats, and Bowls

This may seem obvious but specially on long trips where there is a lot of planning involved it is easy to forget. Your pet needs to be well hydrated and well fed at all times. Even if you’re just heading out on a quick trip, have some water in the car just in case.

Treats and toys are another good idea to keep your pet entertained on long trips. Remember, they can often be just like kids.

Other Essentials

Remember to pack your pet’s medications if they take any and always keep their tags on in case they get lost. Bring cleaning supplies, plastic bags, and towels in case of an emergency and to pick up after them. Many vets also recommend you travel with your pet’s vaccination records and a recent picture.

Lock Power Windows

Yes, dogs look super cute sticking their heads out the window and enjoying the breeze but this is actually not very safe for them. Irritants can be blown into their eyes or nose causing pain and damage and they can accidentally push the window closed causing them to get caught. Some pets have even been known to jump out of cars. To be on the safe side, it is best to lock all power windows.

Most important tip – never leave your pet in the car unattended.

These tips will ensure your pet’s safety whether you’re going a few blocks away to the dog park or on a long road trip. You can visit the Center for Pet Safety for more tips on traveling with your pet including how to select the right harness.

Some insurance policies may cover your pets in the event of an accident. Contact a Preferred Link agent to find out more.

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