What you need to know to ensure pet safety when on the road
For many of us, a cat or dog in the car makes for a stressful situation, as a pet doesn't always make the most natural traveling companion. Yes, they're fun and amusing, smart and intuitive, and most of all, unconditionally loving, but oftentimes, uncontrollably so.
Of course, we want to have them around us all the time, but unless you've gone out of your way to make them comfortable with commuting, it could be a little bit of a struggle having your furry friend with you in the car. And, not all pets are accustomed to traveling around on the back of your truck. Unfortunately, traveling with a pet can be quite the chore, even just getting them in the car can be difficult. On top of that, it can be rather dangerous, too. Fortunately, there are many ways one can prepare for traveling with a pet safely. Using the travel safety tips below, you, and your furry friends can explore the world with peace of mind.
Before anything else, it is important that you familiarize your pet with what it is like traveling in your car by regularly getting them into the vehicle and starting with shorter journeys. This will help get them used to the space, the movement, and vibrations of driving around. Here are some other things one can do to make traveling with cats or dogs in a car more pleasant for them and yourself:
There are several ways one can safely and comfortably secure their animal in a car, but you should always research the cat and dog restraint laws in your country or state before simply unleashing your pet into the back of the family minivan. You will have to try a few methods to see what best suits your pet. That said, here are five different restraint methods you could try:
Here are some important things to consider before traveling with your pet:
Another important consideration when traveling with your pets is their fate in the unfortunate event of an accident. Here is what you should ensure is present in the case of an accident:
Now that you and your pet are ready to explore the world in safety and comfort, here are some nifty travel accessories to make the journey even more pleasant:
It's generally not a good idea to feed your pet in the car, especially on long journeys. A lot of pets tend to get motion sick in cars and will end up vomiting out everything they've recently eaten, which is the last thing you'd want in your brand new Hyundai Tucson. This is why we suggest feeding them three to four hours beforehand and give them small treats during your regular stops.
Dogs whining in the car is natural and there are several reasons why they could be doing it, ranging from excitement all the way to fear. All you need to do to quell their whining is give them some good attention to calm them down. Don't try to play with them or get them more worked up. Soft pats and a soothing tone should do the trick. And remember, the more often they travel comfortably without fuss, the more they will be accustomed to it. If you're a regular traveler, take your puppy or kitten along while they are small so they become used to the car.
Consider leaving your dog at home with a caretaker, be it a family member or house sitter. There are also boarding facilities for both cats and dogs, though they can be rather pricey - and remember that pets also experience separation anxiety. If travel is unavoidable, ask your veterinarian for some safe medications to keep your babies safe and calm.
If you can get your animal to sit still in the vehicle, it shouldn't be any trouble at all. Car restraints for dogs are generally easy to figure out and adjust; if it's your dog that's making it difficult, try to familiarize your pet with the harness outside the car. Rewarding them with treats when they accept the harness is also a good way to get them to accept the process. If your pet just does not want to be restrained by a harness, try a transport cage or box, they will provide just as much safety for your dog. A dog car seat could work just fine for a small breed, too, though it may not be as safe.