The Safest way to Drive Your Pet Around

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The Safest way to Drive Your Pet Around

What dog doesn’t like to go for a car ride every once in a while—and what dog owner doesn’t like to indulge that? And cats, while not friends of automobile transportation in general, need to visit the vet annually in order to ensure their continued good health which means they, too, must travel by car on a somewhat regular basis. But driving your pets around isn’t just a matter of throwing them into the car and hoping for the best. Here are some tips on the safest ways to transport your favorite four-legged family member.

Tips for Dogs

  • Close the window: This may be heartbreaking to read, but allowing your dog to ride in the car with his head out the window is actually dangerous. Debris in the air can get into his eyes or lungs, and according to the Humane Association, cold air forced into their lungs can cause illness.
  • Use a harness: Just as it is dangerous with a small child, it is dangerous to travel with your dog unseatbelted. Dogs should either be in a carrier while you drive or in a harness that connects to your vehicle’s safety belt system. This will prevent them from getting thrown and injured in an accident.
  • Only bring pets to pet friendly locations: No animal should be left unattended in a vehicle, no matter how comfortable the weather is. If you are driving to a destination that does not allow pets to come inside, leave your dog at home.

Tips for Cats

  • Use a carrier: For the safety of both the cat and the people in the car, trips with cats should always be conducted with the cat inside a carrier. Frightened cats are a danger in terms of their claws and their small size, so keep them in a carrier at all times.
  • Get the cat used to traveling: It can be extremely stressful to your cat to go on a long car ride, even when she’s in the safety of her carrier. To get your cat used to the car, About.com recommends you take her on short trips a few times a month and reward her with treats afterward. You can gradually lengthen the trip times in order to get her ready for a multi-day trip.

It doesn’t take much effort to keep your pet safe and comfortable when traveling. Taking these extra steps will help add years to their lives.

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