Car trips with your pet can be so much fun! Ideally you set out smiling with the excitement of being on your way to sharing exploring new worlds, be it a friend’s home, camping in the wilderness, or a fido/fluffy-friendly hotel. Then on the way back, there’s the joy of coming home! But for some pets, car trips can be not only stressful, but can make them sick or cause them injury if they are not properly contained. We’ve done dozens of car trips with our own dogs and cats, from cross-country marathons to short trips around town. Based on our experiences and some research, we’ve narrowed our advice down to the most essential 5 Tips for Safe Car Trips with Your Pets:
- Pet Seat Belt Harness or Crate. Pets should never be allowed to ride unrestrained inside your car/suv, or outside in the flatbed of a truck. Keep your pets safe in a properly fitted car or flatbed pet harness, secured to the seat-belt or tie-downs, or inside a properly-sized travel crate that is securely strapped in place.
- Windows Open? Oh my, how dogs love to stick their noses out of a moving car window! But is the danger of your pet being blinded or worse worth it? Check out BreezeGuard‘s car window screens! They will let your dog (or even that adventurous cat) enjoy the same windy sensation much more safely. They also keep your pet safely contained, and inside temperatures matching the outside, when you stop.
- Back seat. Just like with kids, the back seat is the safest place for your family pet to ride – not all the way in the back of a wagon or truck, and not in the front, especially where an airbag could deploy in case of an accident.
- Car Sick Pets. Motion sickness is really no fun for you or your pet. Try to not feed them 4-6 hours before the car trip. Make frequent stops if its a long trip. Drive slower than usual, especially around curves. Roll down the window closest to them an inch or two for a safe breeze, or use a BreezeGuard car window screen. If they are a smaller pet, elevating them on a cushion, pet car seat, or in their crate so they can see out the window can help too. You can also get your pet used to car trips and less likely to get sick by taking them on daily short rides around the block, gradually lengthening the trip each time.
- Collar and ID. Every car trip, make sure your pets are wearing a collar with an up-to-date ID tag. Preferably it should have not only your phone number and address, but your emergency contact phone numbers as well – like your vet, or a neighbor/friend who could take in your pet temporarily. What if you are in an accident, your pet escapes, and you are not home or unable to answer your cell phone? Having your pet microchipped with all those up-to-date contacts is a good safety tip too.