Headed for a drive? Why not bring your doggy best friend? But before you hop in the car, it’s important to keep these safety tips in mind.
Never let your pet hang out the window.
We can all picture a happy pup hanging out a car window with his tongue flapping in the breeze. But the truth is, letting your pet stick its head out the window is actually really dangerous. Your pet could bump its head on an obstacle as you drive by or even fall out if you take a sharp turn. Cracking the windows is okay to let some air flow in, but never put the window down far enough where your pup could poke out.
Get a car crate.
The best way to keep your pooch safe in the car is to get a well-ventilated crate that you can secure in the backseat or back of an SUV. The crate should be big enough for your mutt to sit, stand, lie, and turn around in. When you place it in the car, make sure it doesn’t move around at all and will stay put if you make a sudden stop.
Strap em in.
If your pup is too big for a crate or would prefer to be out in the open, a harness is your next best option. Find one that’s designed to clip into the seatbelt to keep your dog from flying through the car in an accident. Harnesses let your doggy roam around a little more while still keeping them safe.
You always like a road trip pit stop, and so would your pup! Be sure to bring some food, treats, water, poop bags, and any medication you might need. Never feed your dog in a moving car and try to keep meals minimal before and during the trip. Pups can get carsick, too.
Never, ever leave your dog in a parked car.
Even if you think it will just be a second, don’t ever leave your dog alone in the car. On hot days, temperatures inside the car can skyrocket in a matter of minutes and your poor pooch would be stuck inside. Cracking a window is not enough. On cold days, the same rule applies. Dogs left alone in a parked car could freeze without heat. Either bring your pup with you or have someone stay with them and keep the engine running.
Listen to your pup.
As always, pay close attention to your pet’s reaction. If he/she seems stressed out, take a break and let them out for a little while. Maybe bring a favorite toy along to keep them calm. If using a crate, get them used to it in a familiar setting before keeping them in there for longer periods of time.
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