Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Driving Safely with your Dog

While we love our dogs and want them with us all the time, or just want to take them out for a cruise, it is important to transport them in a proper manner that is safe not only for the driver and the dog, but also for other drivers on the road. Many drivers simply have their pets sit in the backseat, or even in the back of pickup trucks or in their laps. Here are some pet travel tips that can keep everyone, including your dog, safe and happy:
  • Safely secure your dog while driving, either with a fitted pet travel harness, pet car seat, seatbelt, or properly secured crate. Never attach a restraining device to the collar. 
    • Never let your car near your lap, since s/he can interfere with steering, block the driver's vision, or accidentally manipulate the accelerator, the brakes, and gear shifts. S/he can also become a safety hazard if the driver has to divert attention from the road to deal with the dog's behavior.
  • Do not allow your dog to ride with its head hanging outside the window.Airborne debris can get into the eyes, ears, and mouth, and obstacles close to the car and potentially strike the head, causing injury or death.
    • Unsecured dogs can be thrown out at high speeds if the car stops abruptly or gets into an accident.
  • Never leave your pet alone in a parked car. Temperatures in confined spaces can reach over 100 degrees and cause heatstroke or even death during the summer time, and extreme cold temperatures in the winter can be just as threatening.
  • Have your pet consume small amounts of food and water prior to the ride, but not too much due to digesting and urinary issues that may arise.
Picture courtesy: http://www.farmersalmanac.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/driving-dog-thumb-420x240.jpg