National Pet Travel Safety Day is coming January 2nd, and there is no better resolution to commit to than keeping your furry family member happy and healthy. For many of us, our pets are constant companions, which includes trips to parks, friends’ houses, and, of course, to safety training. Unfortunately, many well-meaning animal owners forget about ensuring their pet is as safe as possible. Here are a few tips to make sure you both arrive safely.
Make sure your companion is properly restrained for car rides. We love to see the excitement on their faces as they get ready for a car ride, running back and forth happily to capture every sight and smell. Just as you would with a human child, however, for your safety and theirs, your pet should be properly restrained in any motor vehicle. An unrestrained animal can easily become a distraction to the driver, increasing the likelihood of a wreck. If you are forced to stop or swerve suddenly, your pet can easily be injured or even thrown from the vehicle. Even holding them in your lap can have devastating consequences as, in the event of an accident, they could be caught between your heavier body and the steering wheel or dashboard, crushing them. The best way to keep them safe is to restrain them in a car harness, enclose them in a strapped in a travel carrier, or at the least, looping their leash through a seatbelt. Finally, always keep them in the passenger compartment when possible, never in the bed of a truck.
If your pet is prone to car sickness or other illness, be prepared. Worry can distract anyone. Remember to plan for the animal’s medicine routine, and if they are prone to sickness, lay down a pad or towel to protect your vehicle’s upholstery. If possible, have another adult or older child ride next to them to monitor their condition and provide comfort and reassurance.
Make sure you have all the necessary pet accessories. Even if you do not expect to be gone long, make sure to bring food and water, especially on intemperate days. Potty bags are also a must for cleanup, and a comforting toy or treat in case your companion becomes distressed. In winter, a blanket should be available to provide needed warmth should temperatures drop too low.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE. While this is a major topic during summer, we often forget that winter can be just as deadly for animals. The still air of a car may seem warmer to you, but in freezing temperatures, that is little relief. Leaving your car running for heat or air conditioning can pose risks. An unknown exhaust leak can put our smaller companions to sleep permanently far quicker than it would affect us, and you always run the risk of a vehicle being bumped into gear and rolling out of control. Your pet should never be left unattended in any vehicle, running or not.
Traveling with pets can be exciting, but it is your responsibility to keep them safe. These tips will help keep your pet safe January 2nd for National Pet Travel Safety Day and all year round, but one of the best ways to protect your animal is to make sure they are professionally trained. A trained dog is a safer dog for themselves, your family, and the public. Contact Canine Commander today to fulfill your companion’s potential.