Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How to Protect Your Pet While Driving

30,000.  That’s the number of accidents caused by unrestrained pets, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). The Travel Association also states that 29 million Americans traveled with a pet on a trip for longer than 50 miles.  With numbers like these we want to make sure that our pets are protected.  We want to picture our favorite pets alive with enthusiasm while sticking their heads to the window and soaking in the world around them.  Here are several steps to pet safety:  

Restrain your dog – We know dogs want to have their freedom, however it’s so much safer to keep them restrained while in the car.  If your pet is unrestrained it can cause distractions and injury.  Imagine making a sudden stop.  Even at low speeds this can be very dangerous for your pet.  For small and medium sized dogs a crate, or a harness works wonders in the back seat.  Now, if you’re Great Mastiff is riding with you today (some grow up to 7 ft.  in length) we suggest you have a big enough rear area to contain them.  The Front seats can be used to block them in. 

Don’t put your dog on your lap – Having your dog on your lap is like driving while using a Tablet computer.  Huge distraction!! Your reaction time is substantially slowed and if the window is open, an extremely curious dog could run out into traffic. 

Create a ‘pet friendly’ car – some items for a dog car utopia would be: a cushioned pet bed, extendable cargo area, rear ventilation (A/C or fan), rubber floor mats, and a spill-resistant water bowl.  There are several vehicles ideal for dog lovers out there.  A lot of car manufacturers are chasing dog lovers with new technology and innovations. 

Don’t let your dog ride with their head out of the window – I know it’s tempting, but they can be easily injured by debris flying in their eyes. 

Keep proper ID – just in case your dog gets lost while traveling, you want to make sure you have emergency contact info and up to date ID tags. 

Prepare a doggie bag – make sure it contains clean up supplies, towel, feeding watering bowl, food, and toys to keep them well behaved

A pet is a family member, lets keep ours safe by practicing great car etiquette, while making the trip fun and exciting for our canine companions.

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