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Pets are members of the family and they are traveling with us more than ever, whether for the traditional trip to the park, holidays or extravagant excursions to the grooming parlour.
There are laws to protect us from people who text, apply make-up, or talk on their cell phones while driving. Passengers should also not distract the driver – regardless of whether passengers are humans or animals! Some pets will want to move about freely in your vehicle. This is extremely unsafe and can cause the driver to lose focus. Driving with your pet on your lap is also dangerous for you and your best pal (whether feline or canine) and illegal.
According to a survey sponsored by AAA and Kurgo Pet Products*, 84% percent of respondents take their dogs on car trips but do not use a restraint, such as a pet harness, soft crate or vehicle pet barrier. The reasons for not using a pet travel restraint include:
- My dog is calm and do not think he/she needs a restraint (42%)
- Never considered it (39%) •
- Just take dog on short trips (29%)
- Want dog to be able to put head out window (12%)
- Too complicated/too much trouble (7%)
- Want dog to have fun in the car (3%)
- Want to be able to hold dog (3%
With more pet travel products on the market than ever, available through your nearest pet shop or veterinary clinic, traveling safely with your fur kids has never been easier. Would you let your child travel without wearing a seat belt? The same should apply to pets.
- Prior to your trip, appropriately restrain or crate your four-legged friend inside your vehicle to restrict the ability to freely roam around. A wide variety of options are available including pet seatbelts, pet carriers or barrier to avoid irreparable consequences due to distractions or other misadventures. Dog beds on the back seat are not adequate!
- Pack familiar toys to keep them entertained.
- Have plenty of treats and water handy.
- Plan frequent stops for bathroom breaks and quick stretches.
- Your pet’s identification collars, tags and microchips should be updated, this will help the local authorities and good Samaritans return you beloved companion, should you become separated.
- Most dogs enjoy sticking their head out of a moving car’s window, however they are at serious risk of eye, ear and mouth injuries as tiny rocks, dust or insects hurdle towards them at high speed.
- Vehicles heat up quickly, so remember to never leave pets unattended inside of cars – even with the windows opened slightly.
As a pet parent, you are responsible for your companion’s safety. Being a safe driver is not only your obligation – it’s the law!