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7 Safety Tips for Traveling with a Pet

Traveling with a Pet
Image by Raindom from Pixabay

If you own a pet, you may find it difficult to leave them behind while traveling. It’s not impossible to travel with them but can make your plans more challenging. That’s because several factors can induce stress in your pets while traveling, making them behave abnormally. For some, it may be exciting, but others may be stressed. By planning, you can make your trip more enjoyable. Putting a few steps in place gives you the chance to see the different sides of your pet.

The level of preparation depends on the pet’s experience while traveling by car. If your pet isn’t a veteran road tripper, then you need to start preparing early with short trips, some training, and a vet’s help will also help reduce fear. With safety tips in place, you can keep your pet safe, improve your safety, and other travelers. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Never Let The Pet Sit on the Front Seat

Never Let The Pet Sit on the Front Seat
Photo by Tim Gouw from Pexels

It sounds fine to have your pet as your co-pilot, but that’s not an ideal choice. Firstly, Traveling with a pet on the front seat is a source of distraction. Regardless of how calm it may seem, they can always find their way to your side interfering with your brake, or steering wheel. 

The front seat isn’t the most comfortable place in the car, especially to pets unused to sitting in a car for long hours. Another thing is that it exposes them to more risks like being hit by airbags in case of accidents, which often leads to severe injuries. Even worse, they can be thrown out through the windshield during a collision. 

But if you must have your pet on the front seat, blindfolding them is the best way to avoid distractions. Fly masks or calming caps help reduce your dog’s vision when traveling without bothering them. Unique dog clothes like anxiety vests are another great way to soothe the dog in anxiety-inducing situations. The clothes wrap around and hug the dog, thus distributing pressures that help the dog calm from fear, anxiety, or over-excitement. 

2. Restrain Your Pet in The Car

Letting your pet roam around the car isn’t a good idea. They can move around, distracting you, or injuring themselves by jumping. The only way to ensure their safety is by using a restraint system. Always secure your dog using a seat belt, but a crate is ideal for small dogs and cats.  

The choice of the restraint system depends on factors such as the pet’s breed and size. Of course, the size of your car also matters.

Here are some tips to enhance the pet’s safety in the crate:

  • Always use a spacious crate with space for the pet.
  • Make sure the crate is fixed to the car with a safety belt or straps. 
  • Use a well-cushioned crate that won’t injure the pet in case of an accident. 
  • Place the crate in a place where the pet feels comfortable. 
  • Ensure the crate’s floor has an anti-slip surface to keep the pet in place as the car accelerates, corner, or a brake. 

3. Only Feed The Pet at Rest Stops

Rest stops are the best way to give your cat or dog a break when traveling, and its the ideal time to feed and provide water. Your goal should be to minimize the pet’s bathroom breaks. So, how and when you feed your pet while on the road matters. 

If your trip lasts longer than six hours, then you should plan for breaks every two hours. However, you can make stops whenever needed. You just want to avoid feeding him while the car is moving to prevent them from experiencing nausea and vomiting.

If you’re unsure about your pet’s susceptibility to illness, feed him a few hours before you hit the road. Make sure to bring enough food and water to feed him if he gets hungry along the way. The food must be the personal fave or at least usual food for your pet to avoid causing an upset stomach. 

You can go the extra mile to calm your dog with a quick jog around your stopping point. It helps him burn some energy before feeding, which boosts the metabolism and keeps the dog relaxed.

4. Have Identification Tags Ready

Although no blanket law requires your dog to always to have their identification tags or leashed in public, it’s essential. For starters, keeping them on a leash is the best way to restrain them from going to restricted or dangerous areas. It also ensures the safety of others while in public spaces. You have to leash your dog in some regions when on the road or visiting parks, beaches, or near the children’s play area.

The identification tag is essential even when on a brief rest stop. The ID tag attached to the pet’s collar should have your contact details. Besides, they are small, cheap and gives you peace of mind. You can also add a GPS tracker for easy tracing if something happens. 

5. Never Ride with Your Dog’s Head Out of the Window

Never Ride with Your Dog's Head Out of the Window
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Dog’s like to ride with their head sticking out of the window for two reasons. It allows them to enjoy the breeze, and they enjoy the scent of the new environment. However, you should never let this because it’s dangerous in many ways. Here are some of them:

  • The dog may lean too far and fall outside. 
  • He may get excited and jump out when you stop the car. 
  • A sudden stop can throw him out through the window.
  • Debris on the roadside can hit and injure her head. 

However, that doesn’t mean that you keep the windows fully closed. You can leave a small opening or install a window guard to allow the dog to enjoy a safe breeze. 

6. Have Someone Besides Your Pet

It’s not a good idea to leave your pet. You should always have someone to give your cat or dog company when you leave the car. Having your friend sit beside the pet will calm them down and make them more comfortable. 

Besides, if they turn out to be stressed when driving, you may need someone to give you a hand. You can’t manage to drive while ensuring that the dog is safe, primarily if they are not restricted.

7. Always Have Pet Supplies and Accessories

Whether you’re traveling with your feline or canine friend, you need to travel with essential supplies and accessories. There are certain things that you’ll realize that you need them only when you’re on the road. That’s why you want to have them there if the need arises. 

So, before you start packing, start by giving it a thought and researching what you might need along the road. Take into account factors like the weather because it affects how the journey will turn out. If you have everything you need to beat the weather, then it’ll turn our just perfect. 

Fortunately, there is plenty of pet travel gear to make your trip fun while keeping your pet happy and safe. Here are some of them:

  • Extra Leash
  • Bags for poops
  • Portable water bottle or bowl
  • First aid kit 
  • Comfortable carrier or crate
  • Food and treats
  • Dog chews and toys
  • Enough drinking water 
  • Seat covers
  • Raincoats 

Conclusion | Traveling with a Pet

Traveling with a pet is a growing trend among pet lovers. However, it can be daunting to ride in the car with your pet. Even the most precious pet doesn’t make the best traveling companions. But that’s understandable; cars are meant for human beings. A road trip with pets takes more than just putting them in the back seats. Not all the pets are used to traveling, and some will need to get to experience the short trips first. The key is to know your pet well before you go on a long journey. These tips will help you to prepare your next trip smarter. Pack up everything you may need and use these safety tips for a smooth ride.