As the holiday season quickly approaches, it’s time to start thinking about your travel plans and travel partners. If you intend on taking your furry friends with you on any extensive drives this winter, consider some do’s and don’ts of driving with your pets.
Do: restrain or crate your pet
Unrestrained pets are not only a distraction to the driver, but are a safety hazard in the event of a sudden stop or crash. A car pet harness can restrain larger dogs, allowing them some movement without risk of jumping up front. Smaller dogs and cats should be secured in either a pet car seat or a crate and appropriately secured by the car seat belt. Both methods can also protect your pet from being seriously injured.
Do: update contact information
Before you hit the open road, update your pet’s tags and chip information. In the event you get separated, your pet should have a temporary travel tag with information on where you’ll be staying locally. If your pet has a chip, call the chip company to double check that your contact information (like your cellphone number) is correct.
Do: take pit stops
Taking pit stops every few hours helps to ensure both you and your pet can stretch out and walk around during long treks. Have a leash handy to prevent your pet from running off in unfamiliar territory.
Don’t: let pets ride shotgun
Regardless of whether you have a vehicle pet harness, car seat, or crate, pets should always ride in the backseat. In the case of an accident, the airbags could seriously injure an animal in the front seat, which means the back is the safest place for pets.
Don’t: leave your pet in the car
Most people already know not to leave pets in the car during summer months because it can cause heatstroke. However, freezing temperatures can be just as hazardous to your animals as the heat. Pack extra blankets for Fido in case you do end up stranded without heat.
Don’t: forget the emergency kit
Before you set out, make sure to add any pet necessities to your car emergency kit. According to the ASPCA, you should include these items: extra water, pet food, a water bowl, first aid kit, blankets (or a dog sweater), a favorite toy or pillow, and litter for cats.
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