Like most pet parents, you’re probably gearing up to hit the road with your pooch for a summer getaway or even a day trip. Before you do, be sure to take the necessary measures to ensure your pet is happy and safe in his travels.
Secure Your Pet
One of the most important but overlooked precautions to take when taking a road trip with your pet is securing them in your vehicle. The rest of the family buckles up, so why is Rover allowed to travel “free range”? The same dangers us humans face when not secured apply to our pets. Further, a free-range pet can be a big distraction to the driver. Methods to use include a pet seat belt, travel kennel, pet car seat, and vehicle pet barriers.
Heads Out Window is a No-Go
Most dogs love riding with their heads out the window. We want our dogs to enjoy the ride so much that we don’t always consider the risks versus rewards. Allowing our dogs to stick their heads out the window is incredibly dangerous. Not only could they potentially fall or jump out, but they can also get injured by flying stones, dust, bugs, and other flying objects. Also, too much persistent wind in the face can seriously hurt your pet’s eyes and ears.
Don’t Leave them Alone
Don’t leave your pet alone in the car - particularly in the hot weather. The temperature inside a car can skyrocket in a very short period of time - making it very dangerous for your pet. Leaving the windows cracked does not help. In addition, an unattended pet can be a target for pet thieves.
Yes to Hydration, No to Big Meals
Car rides tend to make us all a bit dehydrated. But for dogs, they seem to get dehydrated even more. The panting and excitement seems to add to their need to wet their whistles. Be sure to bring some clean, fresh water along with you so your pooch can sip a bit from time to time. Since car rides do have the potential to upset pets’ stomachs, don’t overdo it - as too much water at one time may cause a rumbly in the tumbly. Same goes for food. It’s best to keep food intake to a minimum for the same reasons.
Frequent Pit Stops
Wherever your travels take you, make sure you allow for ample time to stop along the way to allow your pet to take potty breaks and stretch his legs. Make sure you’re stopping in a safe spot, away from traffic. Most thruway travel centers have designated dog potty areas. Also, be sure to bring poop bags to pick up after your pooch.
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