It’s no secret that pet parents love to travel with their dogs. According to the AAA/Kurgo Pet Passenger Safety Study, nearly 56% of Americans transport their dog in their car at least once a month! Getting out with your pet is a great opportunity to be active and have fun, but you should remember to always be safe when you do. Whether it’s just driving down to the dog park, heading out to the beach on a hot day or taking a long overdue trip to Grandma’s house, we’ve put together some helpful pet travel safety tips to make sure you both get there safe and sound!
One of the most important items to always carry with you when you travel with your dog is a water bottle or water bowl with enough water for your trip. Dehydration should be a very real concern, especially considering how quickly it can occur in both humans and their pets when they travel. Play it safe and always have enough water for you and your pet!
Be Prepared: Always Have a Collar, Leash and ID Tag
Hundreds of pets are lost or injured each year when they dart out of cars uncontrolled, which is heartbreaking considering how simply this could be prevented. Collars and leashes seem like obvious choices for any responsible pet owner, but don’t forget about ID tags on collars, an excellent investment to make sure your dog can always be easily identified and your home address can be located.
Remember that when in a strange and busy environment, pets can be easily frightened and run off into traffic or to places that are difficult to find. If you make sure your pet has a collar, ID tag and is properly leashed, this concern suddenly becomes a non-issue.
“Please Keep All Arms, Legs, Paws & Heads Inside the Vehicle at All Times”
If you wouldn’t let your child hang out the window of a moving vehicle, then the same should go for your pets. Even though dogs “like it,” it simply isn’t worth the risk of your pet possibly being clipped by a passing vehicle, having debris kicked up into their eyes or exposing their lungs to exhaust pollution. By keeping your windows up, you also prevent any opportunity for your pet to hop out the window when the car is stopped.
The Front Seats Should Be a Human-Only Zone
Accidents are increasingly caused by distracted driving and nearly 30% of drivers admit to being distracted by their dog while driving (AAA/Kurgo Study). As such, pets should never under any circumstances be allowed in the front seat with you. You should be as distraction-free as possible when driving because of the immense responsibility that comes with operating a motor vehicle. This means no animals, cell phones, doing makeup, eating or playing with the radio.
There are many excellent products designed to specifically help keep your pets in the back seat. There are dozens of styles of Backseat Barriers which fit between the front two seats to keep pets in the backseat where they belong, as well as innovative products like the Auto Grass that sits on a car console and prevents dogs from even taking that first step forward into the front seat.
Don’t Forget to Buckle Up!
There are plenty of ways to keep your pet safely buckled up in the backseat. The most common example is using a crate, which should always be secured with a Pet Carrier Restraint attached into your car’s seatbelt system. However, if your pet requires more freedom, a Dog Harness combined with a Seatbelt Tether can allow them enough lead to sit, lay down, and still be protected in the event of a crash. Lastly, a harness that ties into a zipline that travels the length of the backseat will allow them to walk back and forth. Please note that while the zipline is not as safe as the Seatbelt Tether, it will still keep them out of the front seat and prevent distracted driving.
Never Leave Your Dog Alone, Just Bring Them Along
It should go without saying that a dog should never be left unattended in a car, regardless of the weather or the amount of time you’re gone. The most obvious danger is heat, especially when considering that on an 85 degree day, car temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees within 10 minutes with the windows open! However, pets left alone can also attract pet thieves. Our suggestion is to prevent these from ever occurring by simply bringing your pet along with you!
These pet travel tips were provided by Kurgo, the leading manufacturer of pet travel safety products. With more than 10 years of experience developing innovative products, Kurgo’s missions is to help owners and their pets get out to safely enjoy the world together.