When it comes to traveling, your pet’s safety is just as important as your own. Of course you want your pet to be comfortable, but not if it comes in the way of its safety. Keeping it home is your best defense against transportation safety, but there will be times when you will want to bring it along, and when you do, there are some tips you can follow to ensure it stays safe while encouraging a low-stress trip.
Don’t Put your Pet in the Front Seat
You should keep your pet in the back seat of your car. Just like with children, your pet can get injured or killed if the airbag deploys. This is even true if you have them in a crate.
Use Crates that are Crash-Tested
When traveling, it’s always best to put your pet in a crate, especially if you are traveling by car. The crate you use should be the right size for your pet and should be crash-tested and safety-certified. Plastic and aluminum crates that are reinforced with fiberglass are more durable and a better option. How the crate is designed is just as important. The crate should allow enough air to circulate so your pet can breathe easily.
Use a Pet Restraint
Restraints might seem silly, but they are equally important.
A restraint will:
- Keep your pet protected and keep it from slamming into the windshield or getting thrown out of your car
- Keep your passengers and yourself from being hit from your pet in the event they are thrown around
- Protect other vehicles from piling up in the event your pet is thrown from your car onto the road
The size of the crate (or other safety device) is equally important as well. It should be sized appropriately for your pet. Ensure the crate is adequately sized and designed properly for your pet and take a moment to go over the crate’s safety record.
Don’t Leave your Pet in your Car by Itself
You might think it’s fine to leave your pet in the car when you make a quick stop at a store. But, even a quick stop can be too long for your pet waiting in the car for you. On a day that is 85 degrees outside, the temperature in your car can get up to as much as 102 to 116 degrees in mere minutes, even if you keep the windows cracked open. This is very hot for your pet and if you are delayed the extreme heat can harm your pet’s internal organs or kill them.
You love your pet and probably want them with you as much as you can; however, it’s your responsibility to keep them safe while transporting them around. This ensures their welfare as well as your own and other drivers.