Are you planning on taking your dog driving with you on your next road trip? A lot of dog owners love taking their beloved pet with them. They just don’t think they can have as much fun without their animals.
If you’re thinking of bringing your pup, here are a few tips to help the road trip go as smoothly and safely as possible.
Taking Your Dog Driving? Remember These Tips For A Safe And Stress-Free Trip
One of the best things you can do to keep your pet from becoming a distraction – one that could possibly lead to an accident – is to prepare. If your dog isn’t used to being in the car, take him or her on some short drives.
For a dog, car trips can be very upsetting. Make sure your pet will be able to handle a long time in your vehicle. If you’re heading out of state, make sure you bring vaccination records.
Another good idea is to bring along a kit for your pup. Have a leash, food bowl, drinking water, food, poop bags, and any medication he or she might be taking. Bringing along a favorite toy or pillow is also smart. After all, you want your pet to be as comfortable as possible.1
Your Dog Should Be Restrained In The Backseat Of Your Car
If you have a dog who just can’t bear not to be by your side, you might have to take some extra steps to make sure they stay in the backseat of your vehicle. Otherwise, your pet may try to get in your lap while you drive, which is very dangerous.
There are a lot of different products that can keep your dog comfortable and safe in the backseat during the ride. A harness seat belt, for example, will attach to the seat belt and keep your dog from getting in the front. It also keeps your dog safe in case you were to quickly step on the breaks or get into an accident.
There are other products available that allow dogs to move around in the back of the vehicle. These include zip lines, hammocks, dog car seats, backseat barriers, and more.2
Dogs Riding In Cars Should Not Have Their Head Out The Window (Or Ride In The Back Of Pickup Trucks)
You see it on just about any road trip you take. Somebody is driving along and allowing their dog to stick their head out of the window. The dog might love it, but it’s not safe. Wind can seriously dry out a dog’s mucus membranes, and dirt and other debris can get into their eyes.
Dogs can also suffer an injury when sticking their head outside a window. If an object flies up from the road, the results could be disastrous.
The risk is even higher when people let their dogs ride in the back of pickup trucks. Thousands of dogs tragically die each year because they were in the back of a truck and an accident occurred.3
Never Leave Your Dog Alone In A Car
When the weather is hot – or even warm – the inside temperature of a car, even with the windows cracked, can quickly reach more than 100 degrees. That can lead to a potentially deadly heatstroke.
You should never think it’s safe to keep your dog in the car, on a cold day either. The inside can also become as cold as the inside of a refrigerator, leading to a potentially tragic outcome.4
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you’re getting your dog used to your car, take some short trips around the neighborhood – but always stay in the vehicle with your pet.
Other Tips To Help Ensure Your Journey Is A Safe One
There are a couple of other things you can do to make sure your road trip is safe and stress-free not only for your dog but also for you. When planning the trip, take potty breaks into account. You’ll want to stop at least every two or three hours to let your dog do their business and stretch their legs.
Also, lock the power windows when driving. A dog can open a power window pretty easily by the accidental misplacement of a paw.5
There’s no reason why you can’t take your dog with you when you go on a road trip. With a little preparation, and by taking some simple precautions, everybody – whether they have two legs or four – can have a great time.
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