Driving with pets: how to keep your furry friend safe

4/09/2012

They are “man’s best friend”, and they do so much for us, but are we taking proper care of them?

 

Driving with petsEveryone who owns a dog or cat knows that driving with them can often be a distracting, stressful and downright dangerous experience.

This is especially true if your dog or cat is roaming freely around inside your car: having a pet climb onto your lap doesn’t exactly result in safe driving, and it’s also hazardous for Fido or Fluffy. Should you be involved in an accident or need to brake suddenly they could easily end up injured, or worse.

So how can we keep our furry friends safe during car trips?

• Firstly, both dogs and cats should always be restrained whilst in a moving vehicle. Cats and small dogs can be contained in a crate, cage or pet car seat, whilst larger dogs should be buckled in with a seatbelt or harness specially designed for pet travel. An added advantage of harnesses and car seats is that pets can still look out the window.

• A seat upholstery protector or waterproof seat cover is also a good idea to make clean-ups easier in case of any little accidents. Larger pet stores and some car accessory stores stock pet travel items.

• Thirdly, do not let your pet ride with their head out the window. As much as they may love it, they could be hurt if they strike an obstacle close to the vehicle. Potential health problems could also result from dirt particles getting into your pets eyes, nose, or mouth.

• Lastly, do not leave your pet in a parked car under any circumstances. Temperatures in confined spaces such as cars can quickly skyrocket, even if the outside temperature seems mild. If left unattended your pet could develop heatstroke, or even die.

Following these simple tips will eliminate many of the distractions and risks of driving with pets, ensuring that you and your furry friend have safe, happy and stress free travels.

Do you have any other tips for keeping pet's safe whilst on car trips? If so, we would love to hear them! Drop us a line on our Twitter page.


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