Safety Tips for Taking Your Pet in the Car

dog in car - Staunton, VA

Make sure your pet is always safe when traveling with you!

At some point in your pet’s life, there will likely be a time when you have to take them along for a ride in the car, whether you’re letting your dog ride shotgun or taking your cat to the vet. However, letting your pet run loose in the car can pose a big threat, not only to your furry friend but to all the other passengers in the car in the event of an accident. So, what are some good pet safety tips when it comes to bring along your pet in the car? Some of it has to do with choosing the right restraints, but you can help prepare your dog or cat for the ride, too.

Bonding and knowing your pet is important. Some animals are naturally mild-tempered and take well to calmly sitting in place. However, some animals are not accustomed to long rides, or feel trapped by harnesses or crates. If you have a dog, make sure they are leash-trained before taking them on long car trips in order to get them used to the feeling of being restrained by a seatbelt or harness. If you would prefer they stay in a crate, make sure the crate is restrained to the floor of the vehicle and has enough space for the animal to stretch and lie down. The same applies to cats; cat carriers should be spacious and comfortable. Regardless of what kind of animal you have, make sure to warm them up to a long trip by taking them on shorter car rides, gradually increasing the amount of time spent in the car.

When preparing for the actual trip, keep in mind that some states require a vaccination record, so keep those documents handy on the road. Also plan periodic stops to give your pet fresh air, water, and food, as well as bathroom breaks. Additionally, any grooming supplies, first aid, medication, and a few toys should be brought along in order to keep your animal healthy and happy on the road. Remember, never leave your pet unattended in a hot car!

Keeping these pet safety tips in mind when prepping for a long road trip can help make the process easier and happier for everyone involved. Your pet will be healthy, you won’t be worried, and the whole family can spend their vacation with a beloved pet.

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