Keeping Your Pet Safe in the Car

For many pet owners, our animal companions are more than just pets – they’re a part of the family, and bringing them along wherever we go is natural. Bringing your pet for a ride in the car can be great, but there are a number of things you should take into consideration to ensure the safety of your pet and everyone else riding along. Here are a few tips from a Woodland veterinarian to help you keep car travel with your pet a safe and fun activity for everyone.

Never let your pet roam free. This is one of the most common mistakes that pet owners make when bringing their animal companions in the car with them. Not only could an unrestrained pet become injured or even killed in the event of an accident, but they could actually be the cause of an accident if they manage to restrict the driver’s vision or ability to operate the vehicle safely. Always keep your pet safe by placing them in a secured crate or using a specially designed harness (your Woodland veterinarian can recommend a good one).

Don’t allow your dog to lean out the window. For whatever reasons, most dogs love to stick their heads out the window while in a moving vehicle. Unfortunately, this practice can be dangerous for a number of reasons. Your dog could become injured by dirt or flying debris, or they could fall out of the vehicle while it is moving. Keep windows rolled up to a height that your dog cannot fit through.

Never let your pet ride in the back of a pickup truck. Believe it or not, any Woodland veterinarian would tell you that this is one of the most common causes of death of animals when it comes to car accidents. If it is absolutely necessary that you transport a pet in the back of a pickup, make sure the animal is in a cage, and the cage is securely tied down to the bed so it cannot slide or shift during the ride.

Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle. Even if you leave the windows open a crack, on a hot day the inside of a vehicle can become like an oven, reaching unbearably hot temperatures that could make your pet sick or even cause death. Cold weather isn’t much better. Regardless of what the thermometer reads, you should simply make it a point to never, ever leave your pet alone in a vehicle. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Bringing your pet along for a ride in the car can be a great bonding experience for everyone involved, but it’s important that you do so safely to ensure that nobody gets hurt in the process. These tips should help you keep your four-legged passengers safe so you can all enjoy the ride.