Millions of pet owners are traveling with dogs in the car every year, but sadly, only a small percentage are taking precautions to keep their dog safe while out on the road.
Because of this, thousands of dogs are killed, injured and lost in car-related accidents with a staggering number of them being preventable tragedies.
Are you making these 4 big mistakes while traveling with your dog in the car?
If you haven’t got a plan to keep your dog safe, healthy and happy while on the road, and you don’t want your pet to become a sad statistic, read on.
Here are the 4 big mistakes you need to avoid when traveling with dogs in the car.
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Mistake #1 – Not Keeping Your Dog Restrained
When traveling with dogs in the car, first and foremost, make sure you and your pet are secure. Safety belts are mandatory for you, but what about Fido?
Yes, you should restrain your dog in the car.
Just like you would put your kid in a car seat, you need to put your dog in either:
- A crate
- A dog car seat
- A harness with dog seat belt lead
This all depends upon the size of your pooch, of course.
An unrestrained pet can be distracting and cause an accident, and an accident can propel your best friend through the windshield.
Do your buddy a solid and get a safe riding situation for them when they are traveling even short distances with you.
Providing a restraint doesn’t have to be an expensive feat.
This is money well spent in comparison to paying vet bills for injuries caused by lack of being buckled up. In a worst case scenario, you’ll be happy you did.
Not Taking Steps To Prevent A Lost Dog Scenario
Not having your dog’s information up to date is a mistake that you’d not soon forget if your pet became lost on a routine stop during your car ride or after an accident.
Before you leave home, make sure your pup’s collar and microchip information is up to date. It’s also a good idea to keep up to date on their medical treatments and shots.
Bring a copy of their medical records with you just in case.
If there will be stops during your car ride, make sure you have a well-fitting harness and a leash for your dog.
Unfamiliar surroundings could spook even the most stable dog and they may take off running.
A good harness will make them feel secure and show everyone that they are your special friend who has a good home, just in case they do get lost.
Forgetting To Keep Them Cool
Hot weather is a danger for everyone, but most especially for your pet.
Bring along plenty of water when traveling with dogs in the car. A collapsible water bowl is perfect for on-the-go.
Most importantly, never leave your fur baby in the car. Not just for a few minutes, not even in the shade, not even with the windows cracked.
A 70 degree outside temperature can quickly climb to 104 degrees inside a car within 30 minutes and up to 113 degrees within an hour.
Dogs die in hot cars every year and it is a preventable tragedy. Avoid this mistake like the plague!
Being Unprepared For Stops When Traveling With Dogs Long Distances
Be sure to take your pet into consideration of your itinerary for longer car rides or a road trip with dog that requires multiple stops or an overnight stay.
This is especially important to avoid the hot car tragedy.
A good dog carrier purse can help you transport your small dog in style during stops so you can keep him with you instead of the car.
Larger dogs and otherwise will likely need to be tied up on a leash outside of many establishments.
Planning a special stop to give your dog the opportunity to stretch and run around freely will be much appreciated.
After all, he needs potty, food and play breaks just as much as you do on longer car rides.
What To Bring When Traveling With Dogs In The Car
Here’s a list of what to bring or keep in the car each time your’e traveling with your dog to help keep him safe, healthy and happy.
- Medical records and medication
- Crate, dog car seat or dog seat belt lead
- Car seat cover or blanket
- Favorite toys
- Harness and leash
- Collar with I.D. tag
- Food and water
- Collapsible water and food bowls
- First aid kit
- Grooming tool
- Old towels
All in all, traveling with dogs in the car can be a much safer experience for both you and your pup with just a little preparation.
Does your dog like riding in the car? Have any other tips for traveling with dogs in the car we missed?
Let us know in the comments.
- Related: 7 Travel Tips For Flying With A Dog So You Don’t Get Turned Away At The Gate
- Related: Hiking With Dogs: 5 Tips + What To Pack Before You Go
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