Safety Tips for Driving with Your Dog
With the winter season fast approaching us, many people will travel by car more and bring their pets along with them. Even at any season or at any point, you will need to carry your dog with you in the car. Like any dog owner, your pet is not only just your pet, they are also a family member. It is one thing to take care of your dog in your home but it is entirely different bringing them in your car. Whether you are driving into town to get the shopping or travelling on a long-distance road trip to see family or friends, however long the trip may be, preparation is the key to make both you and your pet comfortable and safe on your journey. Any distraction while driving could be a nuisance or even cause a potentially life-threatening accident. So, let's take a look at the essential safety tips for driving with your dog in the car.
Prepare or train nervous & carsick dogs
If your dog is nervous or does not like travel or even gets carsick, you could try to train and prepare your pet not to be afraid of travelling in a car. Start your dog off slowly by getting them to eat inside the car while the vehicle is not in motion. Then work your way up to a short car journey and take them somewhere like the park for a walk. Eventually, your pet will be ready for a long-distance journey and not feel so nervous and afraid. Getting carsick may be a different matter where you cannot train for however, you can prepare them. If your dog suffers from motion sickness, it is best to avoid feeding them before you drive. Give them enough time to digest the food before setting off on your trip. If you are still having problems visit and speak to your vet.
Fit a dog harness seat belt
This is the perfect solution if your dog is well behaved. Fit the harness onto the dog around their chest, this secures them in one position with the strap that then plugs into the seat belt. It is suitable for both small and large dogs. Always adjust the seatbelt to ensure your pet is comfortable. A safety harness is also a great alternative if you have limited space. They can be bought in various different sizes.
Put your dog in a crate
Crates for holding your dog are a great way of transporting and securing them in the car. They may also be used to a crate as you may use one of these in the home. A crate can be placed in the backseat or in the rear of the vehicle. It is ideal for a relaxed and comfortable pet which will make them feel safe and secure while on the journey. Always make sure that the crate is large enough to allow your dog to move around and stand up, otherwise, they will feel cramped inside the crate.
Fit a wire guard in your boot
If your pet likes to see and move around a lot, a wire guard is ideal, it will also prevent your dog from been thrown forward in the event of an accident. You could also buy a comfy bed for your pet to lie or sit in while you are travelling on long distance trips.
Carry water, food and a pet travelling kit
Keep your dog hydrated with water especially if it is a hot summer day, your dog can become dehydrated which can be dangerous for them. If you are making a stop along the way, you should also feed your dog and give them plenty of time to digest the food before setting off again. It is always ideal to carry a few other bits for your pet as a travel kit which would include a bowl, leash, food, medication if needed, favourite toy or pillow. All of these things will give them a sense of familiarity and make them a lot more comfortable.
Keep your car well ventilated
Switch on the air conditioning to a nice temperature, this way your car will be well ventilated especially if the weather is hot outside. Cars can become quite stuffy and warm for dogs so it is important to keep the car ventilated.
Avoid locking your dog in the car
You should never leave your dog in a vehicle by themselves. In the summertime, the interior of a car can become stuffy and hot and it could suffocate the dog. Even in the wintertime, the seasons can have unusual temperatures, which can still make the car uncomfortable for a pet. If you are to leave your pet in the vehicle for a short time, always leave water in a bowl for them to drink and have the window rolled down slightly for fresh air to ventilate your motor.
Take short breaks from driving
If you are on a long-distance road trip away, it is essential that you take a short breaks from driving. Stretch your legs, go for a walk, grab some food and bring your pet along with you. They too should not expect to sit for hours.