Whether you’re on a cross country road trip or if you’re simply running errands locally, it may be tempting to hold your pet on your lap while you’re driving. You might even let them sit on the seat next to you or roam the vehicle, but that’s dangerous for both you and your pet. If you have to brake suddenly your unrestrained pet could be thrown around or be injured if the airbags deploy.
Here are some tips for Arizona drivers traveling with a pet:
1. Letting a pet hang its head out the window can cause debris to get in its eye causing injury.
2. Having your pet in your lap while driving is dangerous for your pet and distracting for you.
3. An unrestrained pet may also be a scared pet that may claw you or scoot under the gas or brake pedals causing an accident.
4. A pet left unattended in a vehicle, whether it is a hot, cold or mild day, is dangerous and can be deadly. Each year hundreds of unattended pets die. Don’t let yours be a statistic.
Just as you prepare your vehicle by taking it to a mechanic, such as Virginia Auto Service, you should also get your pet ready for the road.
Here are tips to prepare your pet and make the trip more enjoyable ride for everyone:
• Never leave home without your pet having a collar and an ID tag. The ID tag should have your cell phone number on it.
• You aren’t the only one who needs a suitcase; your pet does too! Pack the bag with familiar items such as blankets, toys, food & water dishes and any medications. Your pet will acclimate to a new location if it has familiar items.
• Don’t leave home without your pet’s health records. If it gets injured, the veterinarian you visit will need to know your pet is up to date on vaccinations.
• Feed your pets several hours before you leave for your trip. Early feeding times will prevent them from getting car sick.
• Use a pet-approved animal harness; buckle your pet in the back seat. If there’s room or your pet is better suited to a crate or cage that is also an option. Remember to check that the sun isn’t beating down on a restrained animal.
• If this is the first road trip for your pet, it’s best to prepare them by taking short trips to get them ready for a long journey.
• When you’re traveling with a pet, remember you will have to stop frequently so it can relieve itself and stretch its legs.
Regardless of whether you’re driving across town or across the country, safety should always be front of mind when you have your pet with you. Just as you don’t leave your driveway without buckling up, your pet should always be safely restrained in the backseat every time you leave the driveway. Happy trails!