It’s no secret that pet parents love to travel with their dogs. According to the AAA/Kurgo Pet Passenger Safety Study, nearly 56% of Americans transport their dog in their car at least once a month! Getting out with your pet is a great opportunity to be active and have fun, but you should remember to always be safe when you do. Whether it’s just driving down to the dog park, heading out to the beach on a hot day or taking a long overdue trip to Grandma’s house, we’ve put together some helpful safety tips to make sure you both get there safe and sound!
Be Prepared: Always Have a Collar, Leash and ID Tag
Hundreds of pets are lost or injured each year when they dart out of cars uncontrolled, which is heartbreaking considering how simply this could be prevented. Collars and leashes seem like obvious choices for any responsible pet owner, but don’t forget about ID tags on collars, an excellent investment to make sure your dog can always be easily identified and your home address can be located.
Remember that when in a strange and busy environment, pets can be easily frightened and run off into traffic or to places that are difficult to find. If you make sure your pet has a collar, ID tag and is properly leashed, this concern suddenly becomes a non-issue.
Please Keep Arms, Paws & Heads Inside the Vehicle at All Times
If you wouldn’t let your child hang out the window of a moving vehicle, then the same should go for your pets. Even though dogs “like it,” it simply isn’t worth the risk of your pet possibly being clipped by a passing vehicle, having debris kicked up into their eyes or exposing their lungs to exhaust pollution. By keeping your windows up, you also prevent any opportunity for your pet to hop out the window when the car is stopped.
The Driver's Seat Should Be a Human-Only Zone
Accidents are increasingly caused by distracted driving and nearly 30% of drivers admit to being distracted by their dog while driving ( AAA/Kurgo Study). As such, pets should never under any circumstances be allowed in the front seat with you. You should be as distraction-free as possible when driving because of the immense responsibility that comes with operating a motor vehicle.
Restrain or Secure?
There are plenty of ways to keep your pet safe in the backseat. The main choice is do you want to restrain your dog from roaming around or do you want to secure them completely? To help you figure out which solution is best for you, we've made a handy chart for you here.
Never Leave Your Dog Alone
It should go without saying that a dog should never be left unattended in a car, regardless of the weather or the amount of time you’re gone. The most obvious danger is heat, especially when considering that on an 85 degree day, car temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees within 10 minutes with the windows open! However, pets left alone can also attract pet thieves. Our suggestion is to prevent these from ever occurring by simply bringing your pet along with you!