Ways to Safely Travel by Car with Your Dog

Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, train, or boat, summer vacations are always a blast! Many families consider their four-legged best friend a member of the family and therefore choose to take them along for the ride. If you’re considering traveling with your favorite four-legged best friend on your next road trip, it’s critical that you make sure they’re safe and sound in the car. From safety gear and secure seats to cool air and frequent stops, here are some of the top ways to safely travel by car with your dog.

Ensure they’re safe and secure

Just as you should always wear your seatbelt to protect you in case of a collision, your pet should always be properly restrained while in the vehicle according to the AVMA. There are so many hazards to having a pet that isn’t buckled in including crawling to the footwell and interfering with the use of the brake or accelerator pedal, being injured by an airbag in an accident, being thrown out or through windows or windshields in a collision, and more.

BringFido listed some of the best pet safety products for the road and they include:

· Dog Harness Seat Belt which fits your pup like a regular harness would and attaches to your vehicle’s existing seatbelt. The harness is extra strong to keep your dog from exploring your car while you’re driving.

· Zipline Harness Seat Belt Tether which uses a standard dog harness seat belt and takes it a step further attaching to a shore length of a leash. Working like a dog run, this zipline gives your pup a little more room to roam if you have the space for it.

· Car Seat Pet Carrier which provides a safe cozy space for smaller dogs and includes a tether inside that can be clipped to a harness, so your pup is secure.

· Pet Hammock which covers the backseat of your car, giving your dog a comfortable spot to cuddle up and providing a barrier between the front and back of your car.

· Travel Crate which is great for pups that are comfortable in crates and/or have anxiety while traveling in the car. Familiar blankets and spaces help to calm the nerves of anxious dogs.

Don’t forget to make plenty of stops

Much like humans need breaks from long drives, dogs need to stretch their legs too and get some fresh air. It’s important to make frequent stops so your pup can go to the bathroom, get some water, and burn off some energy so they’re ready for the next leg of the trip.

While stops are important when taking a road trip, it’s incredibly important that you never, ever leave your dog unattended in the car, especially in hot weather. The AKC warns that even if your dog has water in the car, the temperature inside a closed car will rise instantly, especially in the summer, and can cause heat stroke or death.

Make sure they don’t get overheated

Cars can get very hot for dogs, especially if they are in crates or have blankets to cuddle into. While these can be comforting for your pup, it’s important that wherever they are in the car they have a proper amount of air flow and pay attention to the heat and air conditioning in the car. If you see your pup panting or starting to seem uncomfortable, turn the AC on and make sure the car stays well-ventilated.

Whenever taking your dog on a trip, whether it be to the veterinarian or to a fun travel destination, if you follow these tips, you can feel confident that the trip is as safe as possible for both of you. If you or someone you know is looking to schedule an appointment with the Bregman Veterinary Group for your new pet or are moving into the area and are looking for a new veterinarian, click here to get started!

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