Virginia Auto Service

Drive Safely with Your Dog in the Car

You love your dog and want to spend as much time with them as you can. So, you may want to bring them along with you on short drives or road trips. While this can be fun for both you and your dog, it can also be dangerous if mistakes are made.

Before you hit the road with your dog for your next big -or small- adventure, consider these seven tips:

Restrain Your Dog Properly

When you are driving you should not allow your dog to roam about the vehicle. Allowing your dog to move about the car when you are driving can be a distraction to you on the road and result in an accident that could harm your dog and possibly yourself. You use a seat belt to harness yourself into the vehicle and help prevent injury in an accident and you should do the same for your dog. If you plan on traveling with your dog at all then you should purchase a seatbelt that is designed for dogs or put them in a crate that is secured to the seat. You will want to make sure that the seatbelt or crate is used properly to prevent injuries. Make sure you purchase the right size and fit, and that you learn how to secure the dog properly per the instructions given to you.

Keep the Dog Secured in the Back

Like small children, your dog is safer when secured in the back of the vehicle. You may enjoy your dog’s company in the front, but if an airbag should deploy it could be fatal for your dog.

Avoid Rolling Down the Windows

We shouldn’t put our limbs and our heads out of the vehicle when driving, especially at high speeds, to avoid injury from debris on the roadway; and the same goes for your dog. We know many dogs find pure joy in this, but it is not worth the risk of injury. If you must roll down the windows, only crack them enough to let in fresh air and not allow the dog to put their head out the window.

Keep Harmful Items Out of Reach

The last thing you want to have happen when you are driving with your dog is for them to get sick. Be mindful of the items you keep within their reach in the vehicle. Items commonly found in cars that can be harmful to your dog includes gum, air fresheners, cleaning products, antifreeze, and engine oil.

Be Mindful of the Temperature

As an Arizona resident you have probably heard of the dangers of leaving your dog in a hot car, but with how serious the outcome of doing so can be, it bears repeating. Your dog should never be left in the car when the weather is hot or too cold. Your dog is extremely susceptible to heatstroke or hypothermia and frostbite- which could be deadly. If you must stop somewhere, make sure you can bring your dog with you.

Don’t Put Your Dog in an Open Truck Bed

Long ago it was common for people to drive with both other humans and dogs in the bed of their truck. This is never a good idea, even if you try and secure them in the bed. Even pets that have a harness or leash of some kind can attempt to jump out of the vehicle or be jolted about which could result in life-threatening injury. Also, keeping them in the bed exposes them to harm from debris and the elements.

Remember that Traveling May Be Stressful for Them Too

While many dogs find car rides enjoyable, just as many can find the ride to be stressful. The noise and motion are not something they are used to and could induce anxiety in some. If you have them in a crate, consider covering it and keeping the interior environment as calm and peaceful as you can. Also, talk to your vet if your dog suffers from anxiety and/or motion sickness for tips on how to calm them when traveling.

To help keep you and your dog safe on the road, keep your vehicle properly maintained and performing at its best. The experts at Virginia Auto Service can handle all your automotive repair needs. Call us at 602-266-0200 or schedule your next appointment online.

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