When you're planning to travel with your pet, it's important that you plan ahead. From making sure that pet carriers are in good condition, to finding a comfortable place for Fido to spend the trip, you want to get the most out of your traveling experience. This article is packed with 10 tips for safe car travel with your pet.
1. Keep your pet harnessed.
One reason why you should keep your pet harnesses is because your dog will be safer. When a pet is loose in the car, there is no way to stop them from jumping around or moving their head into dangerous positions while driving. Your pet can also become tangled in seat belts or injured if they fall out of the vehicle during an accident. A harness keeps your pet safe and secure at all times during transport.
It's also more comfortable for your dog. While some dogs may like to sit up front with their owner, most prefer to ride in the back seat where they can stretch out and relax during long drives. In addition, a harness helps evenly distribute weight across their body so that they don't have pressure points on their neck or chest while traveling in a car.
More importantly, you'll be more comfortable on long trips. With a harness on, there's no need for you to worry about your dog shifting around as much or getting tangled up with seat belts when you're trying to drive safely down the road! This means you'll have fewer distractions while driving along highways and freeways which helps ensure both of your safety and comfort.
2. Secure your pet's carrier.
Your pet's carrier is a safe place to keep your dog, cat or other pet when you travel. A carrier is an important part of the car safety equipment you should always have with you when you drive with your pet.
Carriers can be used for small pets, large dogs and even birds. The one you choose depends on the size of your pet. Also consider how much space there is in your car and how long you will be traveling with your pet in the car.
It is also important that a carrier should be well-ventilated so that your pet has fresh air to breathe while riding in a hot car or truck. Some carriers have windows that are made of mesh or plastic so that fresh air gets into the carrier and stale air can get out. If possible, use a carrier that comes with a top opening so you don't have to lift up the front door every time you want to reach inside and touch your pet's head or scratch behind his ears.
More importantly, make sure that there are no sharp edges or points on any part of the carrier where your pet might get hurt if he tries playing around inside his new home on wheels! You may want to cover all sharp edges with duct tape before using it for traveling purposes so nothing happens during those long trips away from home!
3. Don't let your pet ride with his head out the window.
Pets are often seen hanging their heads out of car windows, but this is a bad idea for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s dangerous. Pets can be injured by debris or other animals that fly into the car, and they’re at risk for getting caught in the open window or falling out altogether.
Besides being dangerous, letting pets stick their heads out of car windows also makes it difficult to see where you’re going. When driving at high speeds or in bad weather conditions, these distractions can be even worse than they would be otherwise.
Finally, if your pet happens to get loose while you’re driving — which happens more often than most people think — he could cause an accident just by running out into traffic or darting into other lanes of traffic as you try to avoid him.
4. Help your pet stay calm.
Dogs and cats are often anxious when traveling, and that can make for a stressful drive for everyone. A common reason for pet travel anxiety is the unfamiliarity of a car ride with lots of noises and movements. To help your pet get used to being in the car, you can start by taking him or her out for short rides around the neighborhood. Then gradually increase the distance, time and speed until you're comfortable driving on longer trips.
Another trick that might help is making it fun for your pet. Try playing music or putting some treats in a box (or even inside a plastic bag) and shaking it every time you stop at a red light or take a break from driving. It's okay if your cat doesn't like this idea — there are plenty of other ways to make the drive more enjoyable for both of you!
5. Don't let your pet eat or drink too much before the journey begins.
This is a common mistake that many people make when they are traveling with their pets. While it might seem like a good idea to feed your pets many foods before the trip, it can actually cause more harm than good, especially to cats.
It's important to remember that cats have sensitive stomachs and can easily get sick if they eat too much at one time. In addition, giving them food right before travel will often cause them to vomit during the trip—something you definitely don't want happening in your car!
So instead of feeding your cat one whole meal at one time right before you leave, give them just enough food for their normal daily intake (about 25%-50% of their daily caloric needs) and then another meal once you've arrived at your destination. It is also important to remember that if you give them too much food or too little water before the trip, they are more likely to become dehydrated or over-hydrated while traveling. Thus find the right balance so you and your pet don’t suffer.
6. Make stops for comfort breaks as often as you need to.
You should always stop and take a break, when your pet needs one. That includes making stops for comfort breaks as often as you need to.
When travelling with pets, it's important to remember that they do not have the same endurance and energy levels as humans do. Pets need to rest and relax just like their human companions. The best way to ensure your pet has a safe and enjoyable trip is to take regular rest breaks. When we travel with our pets, we tend to forget that they need them just like we do!
Hence, if your dog or cat is panting heavily or otherwise struggling with the heat or cold, then you should stop immediately so that he or she can get some fresh air and rest their paws. In addition to that, if your dog is getting tired or bored, then it is also important that you stop frequently so that he can have a good run around in an open area where there are no other people around (or any other distractions).
7. Watch out for signs of overheating or discomfort.
Pets should never be left in a car for long periods of time, even if it's in the shade or with the windows down. Temperatures inside vehicles can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 minutes, so even leaving them in the shade won't protect them from overheating.
Signs of overheating include heavy panting and drooling, red gums, vomiting and lethargy. That’s why if your dog or cat displays any of these symptoms while traveling with you, be sure to pull over as soon as possible so they can cool off inside the air-conditioned car or turn on the fan to keep them cool.
8. Show your pet that you're calm and in control.
Keep in mind that travel can be stressful on pets. Even if they've traveled with you before, they may not remember it well enough to realize that this time will be different from the previous experiences. It's likely that they'll be scared at some point during your trip. Making sure you're prepared for this possibility by showing your pet that you're calm and in control. Your dog or cat is going to be nervous on the trip, whether they're moving around in their new crate or sitting quietly by your side. They might even get agitated, acting out and barking or meowing loudly. If this happens, take a moment to breathe deeply and remind yourself that you are in control of the situation, not your pet.
You can also take a moment and focus on slowing down your breathing while repeating a mantra like “I am calm” or “I am in control.” This will help reinforce that you're not going to lose control over the situation no matter how upset your dog gets—and it will help calm both of you down so that everyone can keep moving forward towards their destination safely!
Be sure to follow these tips for safe car travel if you plan to bring a pet along on your family vacation this summer. With everyone being distracted and hurried, it is important to remain extra vigilant when you bring your pet along.
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