Traveling for the summer and plan on bringing your pet? There are tons of dog friendly eateries, parks, hotels, etc. across the country! Taking your pet on vacation is always fun, but make sure you take precautions before packing the car up and leaving.
The safest way for your dog to travel in the car is in a crate that has been anchored to the vehicle using a seat belt or other secure means. Dog restraints or seat belts are useful for preventing your dog from roaming around the car and being a distraction to the driver, but they haven’t been reliably shown to protect dogs during a crash. Most cats aren’t comfortable traveling in cars, so for their safety as well as yours, keep them in a carrier. It’s important to restrain these carriers in the car so that they don’t bounce around and hurt your cat. Do this by securing a seat belt around the front of the carrier.
Make sure that you stop frequently to allow your pet to exercise and eliminate. But never permit your pet to leave the car without a collar, ID tag and leash. A quick pit stop may feel like no time at all to you, but it’s too long to leave your pet alone in a car. Heat is a serious hazard: when it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees within an hour. On an 85-degree day, even with the windows slightly open, the temperature inside your car can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. Even if you’re certain of your timing, you can get held up — in just 30 minutes, you could return to a 120 degree car and a pet suffering irreversible organ damage or death.
Dogs and cats should always be kept safely inside the car. Pets who are allowed to stick their heads out the window can be injured by particles of debris or made sick by having cold air forced into their lungs. Never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck. It is not safe for a pet to ride in the back of an open pick up truck without some sort of protection, like a dog crate. Crates should be secured if you are going to transport a pet in the back of the pick up truck.