As any pet owner will tell you, four-legged friends are basically family.
Despite this, many pet owners don’t take into account their pet’s safety when they are in the car. You wouldn’t let your human family members ride around without seatbelts or leave them in a hot car, but many pet owners do exactly this. That’s why we’ve put together 5 easy tips for protecting your pooch and how to drive safely with pets.
Get a Crash-Tested Crate
While your dog may love the freedom of roaming around the car and sticking his head out the window, the fact is that it simply isn’t safe for your pet or anybody else in the car. Sudden stops and accidents can cause your pet to fly around like a missile which can seriously injure your pet or anybody else in the car.
The safest way to transport your pet in the car is to put them into a crash-tested crate. These crates are designed to withstand hard braking and accidents, giving your pet a better chance of making through any incident. If you’re not sure where to find the best crash-tested crate, the Center for Pet Safety has recently performed a study on the best crates for pet transport that details which crates you should buy.
Don't Leave Them Alone
While your pet may appreciate being taken for an exciting car ride, they won’t if you continually leave them in the car alone. On hot days (or even just warm days), your car can heat up quickly, even if the windows are down, and turn it into a furnace for your pets. This can lead to heat stroke or even death, so don’t take any risks. In the colder months, the opposite effect works in your car to make it like a refrigerator for pets. Your safest option is to simply not leave your pet in the car alone no matter what.
Watch Your Windows
While we recommend using a crate to transport your pets in the car, we know that not everyone will follow this advice. If your pet is allowed to roam around the car and stick their head out the window, make sure that the windows are locked. Power windows make it easy for pets to accidentally roll the window up or down. This can lead to wide open windows that overexcited pooches may jump out of or windows that roll up on your dog’s head. Not a great result either way, so make sure those windows are locked.
When you’re out and about in the car, anything can happen. That’s why you should always bring your pet’s essential supplies to make sure they’re comfortable no matter what. First on the list should be water and a bowl. Pets, and dogs especially, need regular access to water so it’s always good to have some on hand in case they get thirsty. This is a must on long trips.
Other good items to bring are a leash, so you can take them out of the car, a bed, so they can be comfortable in their crate, and some treats so that they have something to nibble on during the trip. It also never hurts to bring some clean up supplies in case they go to the bathroom and one of their favorite toys so they can have a little fun while they are out and about.
Give Them a Break
Finally, it’s important to give your pet a break from the car at regular intervals. Pets are a lot like children when it comes to driving and even though you might be able to drive longer, your furry friends will appreciate taking a break every 1 or 2 hours to get some fresh air, stretch their legs, have some water, and go to the bathroom. Keep in mind that car rides are more exciting (or terrifying) for your pets than for you, so they’ll need more breaks than a person would. Plus, it’s a nice chance for you to get out of the car and stretch your legs a bit as well.
By following these tips, you’ll make driving a whole lot safer for your pet and will make them so much happier in the long run. And if you’re looking for an automotive repair shop that takes care of your car as well as you take care of your pets, bring it into the ASE Certified and Master Technicians at Convoy Auto Repair. There’s a reason we’re San Diego’s favorite auto repair shop.Take a look at our specials today!