Most dogs love to go for a ride in the car. They love driving with the windows down and their heads out the window watching the world go by and smelling all the wonderful sights. They couldn’t be happier, unless you have a dog that suffers from motion sickness. That’s a whole other scenario that involves lots of lots of cleanser and paper towels. Whether your dog enjoys riding in the car or not, here are three important safety tips – golden rules, really – you should think about before driving your pets.
Pets should be secured while riding in the car.
We’ve all seen the little toy breeds happily sitting on the driver’s lap while the car is in motion. This is extremely unsafe. If the car has to make a sudden stop, the dog will go flying, either into the steering wheel, the dashboard, or onto the floor of the car. It is never a good idea to drive with your pet on your lap.
Cats and small dogs could decide to wander and the driver’s attention needs to be on the road, not trying to hold onto their pet. If the pet ends up down by your feet, it becomes a safety hazard – they could get in the way of the brake pedal and cause a serious accident. Not to mention the chance of their getting injured by your foot or the pedals.
Seat belts are available to attach to the existing belts in the car for all size dogs. Booster seats are available for tiny toy breeds. Another option is to transport your pet in a crate that is braced in a secure location. This will keep your pet safe from flying through the car in case of an accident. Large dogs, like children, are safest when in the back seat.
Lock your window controls.
This is one that most pet owners wouldn’t even think of being a safety hazard. If you have a large dog sitting next to the window, you should make sure that the window locks on your car are on. If he accidentally places his paw on the window control while his head is out the window, the window will close on his neck, chocking him. If he is in the back seat, you may not even be aware of the situation.
Never leave your pet in the car alone.
We shouldn’t have to say this, but it bears repeating. Never leave your pet in the car alone. Especially not on hot days. Cars heat up fast, even with the windows cracked or slightly open. Cold days aren’t so fun for the pet either. Plus, a lot of pets experience separation anxiety when left alone in a car and often become destructive in their panic. If you are running errands, leave your dog at home.
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