Driving with pets can be incredibly fun, but there are also some important safety tips to keep in mind. Whether you’re taking a cross-country road trip or simply taking your dog or cat to the vet for a checkup or routine appointment, there are several things you can do to make the ride safer and more enjoyable for everyone in the car — especially your pet.
First and foremost, use a safety restraint at all times. It can be tempting to carry your pet in your lap, but this can be seriously dangerous. Not only can they cause distractions, but in an accident, the impact an animal could experience on a surface like the dashboard, steering wheel or even the back of a seat could potentially be fatal. Depending on the size of your pet, you can get a harness, car-friendly carrier, pet booster seat, or rear-seat divider.
Next, avoid letting your pet stick its head out the window. While it might make your dog especially happy to get some fresh air and potentially delight passing drivers, putting their head out the window could have harmful effects. It can cause damage to mucosal membranes (such as in their nose and eyes). Road debris like gravel or poorly-secured cargo can be lethal at high speeds as well.
Also consider taking more frequent brakes. A good rule of thumb is to treat your pet like a toddler when you’re on a road trip. That means stopping at least every two hours for a bathroom break, and be sure to give your pet food and water (as long as it doesn’t make them car sick). Finally, stopping more frequently lets your pet enjoy new areas, even if it’s just a rest stop — something they’re bound to appreciate.
If you want any more tips on how to keep your pet safe and happy on the road, stop by Danny Len Buick GMC and ask knowledgeable members of our staff how they keep their furry friends secure during trips.