For many pet owners, bringing their pet along with them in the car is just a natural part of their loving relationship. Animals are a part of our families and we love to have them with us whenever and wherever we can. But just as with humans, there are certain safety precautions that should be taken into account to ensure that your four-legged family members stay safe when traveling in a vehicle. Below are a few car safety tips for pets as shared by an experienced Saugeen Shores veterinarian.
Don’t let them roam free. Your pet may love to explore the vehicle and move from one area to the next while driving, but allowing them to do so can place everyone in the vehicle in great danger. An unrestrained pet could be thrown in the event of an accident, injuring itself or other passengers, or the animal could become injured by an airbag deploying. What’s more, animals that are allowed to roam free in a moving vehicle could easily cause an accident by impeding the driver’s ability to see the road or control the vehicle.
Restrain your pet with a harness Dr. Berry or Dr. Jones can recommend a good one to try or within a crate that you secure in place.
Hold off on big meals just before a trip. Pets, like people, can suffer from motion sickness when riding in a moving vehicle. Make it easy on your pet’s stomach by not feeding too large of a meal right before hitting the road. You should also be sure to bring plenty of fresh water and a bowl for your pet to drink from to help settle their stomach.
Roll up the windows. For whatever reason, many dogs relish the feeling of putting their head out the window and feeling the wind in their face, but this is actually a very dangerous practice. Dr. Berry and Dr. Jones will tell you that they’ve treated many dogs for injuries such as dust and debris in the eyes and falls from vehicles. Keep the windows opened just enough to let air in, but not enough to allow your pet to put his or her head out.
Never leave your pet in a parked car. Southampton Pet Hospital veterinarians see tragic cases of it every year – someone leaving their pet in a parked car on a hot day and the animal subsequently becoming seriously ill or dying due to dehydration and extreme temperatures. Even on a cool day, the temperatures within a parked vehicle are significantly higher than those outside – even if you open the window slightly. Simply put, you should never leave your pet in a parked car under any circumstances.
Bringing your pet along for a ride in your car can be a great experience for you both, but you must do so responsibly to avoid the risk of injury or worse. These safety tips should help make road travel with your furry friend a fun and safe adventure for everyone.