Car Ride Safety Tips For Pets

Hitting the road with your furry friend? Keep these car ride safety tips in mind so both you and your pet can travel comfortably and stress free.

Courtney Elliott

Updated June 16, 2023 • Published May 23, 2023

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Car Ride Safety Tips For Pets

Depending on your pet, going for a car ride may just be the best thing to ever happen to them or it may feel like the end of the world. Whether you're heading to the vet for a quick appointment or are embarking on an hours-long road trip, it's important to know how to keep your furry friend safe and comfortable.

So before you set out on your adventure, keep the following tips in mind.

Car ride safety tips for pets

1. Never leave them in the car alone

The number one car safety tip for pet parents is to never leave your pet in the car alone. During the warmer months, temperatures can quickly rise to dangerous levels—even with the windows cracked—and lead to overheating and heat stroke.

This rule applies to cold weather conditions, too. Pets left unattended in a vehicle during wintertime can rapidly lose heat and are at risk of hypothermia. If you absolutely must leave your pet in the car, make sure you're gone for no longer than five minutes and that temperatures are above freezing and below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Prepare anxious pets

Pets with anxiety may have a tough time during car rides. It's important to make sure that you familiarize them with being in a car before you set out on a long trip. Ensure that they're comfortable with any carrier or restraint system you're using and look for signs of unease while you drive short distances.

Doing trial runs can also clue pet parents in on whether or not their dog or cat suffers from car sickness. If you notice that your pet gets nauseous in the car, chat with a veterinary professional and they can point you in the right direction.

3. Use a pet restraint system

Invest in a sturdy pet restraint to secure your pet during the car ride. This helps prevent them from moving around or getting injured in case of sudden stops or accidents. There are plenty of options on the market, from harnesses and pet seatbelts to pet carriers and crates.

4. Keep them in the back seat

It's best to keep your pet confined to the back seat area. This prevents them from interfering with your driving or being thrown around during sudden movements.

5. Don't let them stick their head out the window

As much as we all love to see our furry friends enjoy the cool breeze, letting your dog stick their head out the window can actually be quite dangerous. They're at risk of getting hit by debris and insects, making their eyes vulnerable to injury.

Cracking the window is fine, but letting them stick their entire head out unrestrained is unsafe.

6. Bring the right supplies

In addition to a pet restraint system and/or carrier, you should make sure you have all the supplies your furry friend may need during your journey. A harness, leash, snacks, food, water, poop bags, a pet first aid kit, toys, and your pet's medical records are all good to have on hand.

7. Secure all items in the car

In addition to securing your pet in the car, it's important to make sure that all items in the car are safely stored, too. Secure any loose objects that could become a projectile in the case of sudden stops, turns, or accidents.

If you take all the right precautions and keep these car ride safety tips for pets in mind, traveling with your furry companion can be quite enjoyable. If you have questions about safe travel with your pet, the Pros at Pawp are here to help 24/7.

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