Car Travel With Your Dog: Road Trip Safety Tips You Need To Know

Travel Safety Tips and Tricks when on the road with Your Dog

The majority of us treat our dogs as part of our family. Leaving them behind for a weekend break or vacation is quite heartbreaking. However, traveling with them is not as simple as it looks. Each year numerous dogs and other pets are either harmed or killed in vehicular accidents. Although some of these occurrences are out of our hands, there are some preventive measures you can take to ensure your beloved pet is safe and secure on your family road trip.

It is essential to plan, be flexible, and get organized if you want your journey with your pet to be successful. You'll need to consider everything, from your vehicle to stopovers. No matter how long or short your drive is keeping your furry friend comfortable and secure is necessary.

Why it’s Important to Properly Restrain your Dog when Traveling
Regardless of how much your pooch enjoy hanging his head on your car's window, here are the reasons why it's dangerous not to restrain him properly:
  • Your pet can distract your driving easily.
  • Letting your puppy sit on your lap can move or block your vehicle's steering wheel, brake and gas pedals, and gear shift.
  • An airbag can injure or kill your pet.
  • His eyes, mouth, and nose can get injured by different road debris if his head is hanging out of your car's window.
  • Your pet can become a fatal projectile during a crash or even on a sudden stop.
  • Letting your dog loose during the ride can get in the way when emergency men are trying to get you out during a crash. He can also escape and get lost without anyone noticing.

To ensure a smooth road trip with your pup, here are some tips and tricks you can follow:

Know the Rules of the Road
Make sure you are aware of the road rules and laws on every state with regards to traveling with pets. Every dog owner is responsible for their pets as per Rule 57 of the Highway Code. It also states that you should restrain your dog suitably in your vehicle to avoid driver distraction and injuring not just you but themselves in case of a car crash. Your precious pet can be thrown forward like a rag doll during an accident.

Securing your Dog in your Car
A lot of dog owners let their dogs sit on their laps or restrain them using a regular leash during travel. You're putting your pet in danger by doing these things. Moreover, this is also against the law. Depending on the size of your pet, you are required to use proper restraints such as a dog cage, pet carrier, seat belt harness, or a dog car seat.

  • Dog Harness. Dog harnesses are also known as seat belts. These are one of the safest ways to restrain your pet in your vehicle. They fit and work just like a regular harness but are specially designed to endure car crash impacts. Find the best one for your pet by comparing the top dog car harnesses you can find here.
  • Dog car seats. Dog booster seats and car seats are similar to a harness but made specifically for smaller breeds of dogs. Your adorable pup is boosted up to a level where he can see the view while still being kept safe and secure.
  • Kennel or crate. These are ideal if you have a large vehicle. Provided that you purchase a very sturdy one that you can safely secure in place, it's also one of the safest ways to travel with your canine buddy.

Prepare your Pet Emotionally, and Physically

One of the things you need to do is to make the whole trip as pleasant and comfortable as possible for your dog. The last thing you want is to see him getting sick and nauseous during the ride. Not all dogs have the right temper or are healthy enough to travel. Forcing them is not recommended.

Each pet is different, and some tend to be really anxious when they're away from their comfort zone. It's advisable to take your four-legged friend on short rides in your car using his restraint a few weeks before your road trip so that he'll get use it. You can also make his space in your vehicle as comfortable and familiar as possible by placing some of his favorite toys in there.

You can also ask your vet for anti-nausea drugs for your dog in case he gets car sick. If he's really nervous, you can let him sit in the car and not go anywhere. Praise him for being a well-behaved dog. Once he's already calm and relaxed, you can start taking little trips around the block.

Moreover, you also need to make the trip comfortable and safe for you and your family. Here are some things to pack for your dog to ensure your travel will run seamlessly:
  • Paper towels and plenty of dog poop bags.
  • Cleaning materials such as odor and stain remover.
  • Bowl, dog food, treats, and water.
  • Seat cover to protect your vehicle from hair and all kind of stains.
Hopefully, this post didn't scare you away from the idea of taking your best friend on a road trip with you. Sure, there are a lot of things that can go wrong, but if you use some of these simple tips you'll find that traveling with your dog can be a wonderful and easy adventure!

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