Who doesn’t love a summer road trip? The endless road ahead, the wind in your hair and the perfect playlist as your soundtrack. What makes it even better? Bringing your fur-baby along for the ride too!
This summer, an estimated 206 million Americans will be hitting the road for a vacation. If you are planning to take a road trip and bring along your furry friends, here is a list of do’s & don’ts to follow to keep your pet safe on your drive.
- Buckle up! Just like us humans need to use a seatbelt, a safety restraint for our pets while the car is in motion will keep them secure in case any sudden movements occur. Take a look at this one from Sleepypod.
- Keep it comfortable. Use a plush carry box or car seat along with a safety harness to keep your pet from roaming around the vehicle. Bring along their favorite blanket to keep them cozy. If the blanket is from their home it may doubly work as a way to help keep any nerves or anxiety at bay since this scent is comforting to most pets.
- Safety first. Keep a pet first aid kit handy in case of an emergency. A few essential pet first aid kit items to have in your car include gauze, a flashlight, tweezers, towels and scissors. Visit, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dog-first-aid-kit-essentials/, for a full list of items to keep on hand. Don’t forget to take any of your pet’s medications with you on your trip.
- Pack travel-friendly essentials. Not a must, but travel versions of your pet’s everyday items will make your trip on the road that much easier. These include, collapsible food and water bowls, a pet-specific water bottle such as one that squeezes water into its own bowl then retracts back into the bottle, a soft crate that can fold when not in use, pet wipes and a travel size of your pet’s shampoo just in case. A reflective or light up vest or collar is great too, especially for walking your pet at night.
- Plenty of rest stops. Schedule numerous stops to let your pet stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. This is also the perfect time for a snack or meal. Additionally beneficial for humans, too!
- Do not let your pet hang out the window. The wind can cause harm to their eyes and flying debris may be present and pose a danger to them.
- Do not leave your pet unattended in your vehicle. This is especially important in Florida where the temperature inside a car when the AC isn’t on can reach well over 100 degrees! Temperatures can climb rapidly during the warm summer months and a passerby may see your pet left unattended and break your window to free them. Research pet-friendly stores, restaurants and hotels in advance so you know where you can and cannot take your pet inside. A great resource is https://www.bringfido.com/.
- Don’t give in to the puppy dog eyes! No matter how difficult it may be to say no, don’t allow your pet to sit on your lap while driving. This can be distracting and prohibit you, the driver, from being able to operate the steering wheel properly. Restrain your pet in the back seat with a proper pet harness designed for a pet car seat.
- Do not feed your pet while driving. Save the snacks and mealtime for those rest stops. Food can cause choking or car sickness while the car is in motion.
We hope as you emBARK on your summer adventures with your furry friends you keep these pet safety do’s and don’ts in mind to ensure a fun, safe and memorable summer road trip ahead.