March 6, 2018
Riding in the car can be a great bonding opportunity and an exciting adventure for your dog. Whether you're heading out on a long vacation or just driving around town, dogs often enjoy the special experience of riding with the family in the car, and all the extra attention that goes with it.
Although it's tempting to allow your dog to stick his head out the window or curl up in your lap while driving, it's just not worth the risk. A loose dog can be a distraction, can interfere with operating your vehicle or can cause injuries—even death—in an accident. Make sure your dog is securely seated, just like any other member of your family.
Follow these car safety tips to ensure everyone has a good time on your next road trip.
1) Go with a crate.
If you have room, a secured crate provides the most safety for your dog and the driver. Position it in the center of the car, if possible.
2) Use a canine seatbelt.
Safety harnesses made especially for dogs are good alternatives to crates. Look for one that integrates with your car’s seat belts, uses the same rugged material and features a padded harness for your dog's chest and neck.
3) Be careful with airbags.
Just like small children, dogs can be harmed by passenger-seat airbags. Either disable the airbag or place your dog in the backseat.
4) Avoid car sickness.
Your dog should not eat any food for six hours prior to a car ride. On extended trips, feed your dog small snacks that are high in protein to satisfy her hunger while still limiting the chance of motion sickness.
5) Take frequent breaks.
Stop every 3-4 hours to give your dog a chance to use the restroom, stretch and release some pent-up energy. Many roadside rest stops have areas designed specifically for pets.
6) Don't leave your dog in a parked car.
On warm days, a dog left in a parked car can overheat in just a few minutes. If you must be away, find a shady spot to tie your dog.