Keeping Your Pet Safe in the Car

 In Pet Care

Everyone loves bringing their furry, feathered and clawed friends on excursions! Whether you’re just going to the dog park or traveling across the country to free-fly your parrot, following a few basic tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe in the Car.

Dogs and Cats

The same way humans buckle up in the car, dogs and cats should too! One of the easiest and safest ways to put a safety belt on your dog is by using a car harness. These harnesses come in different sizes to ensure a perfect fit for Great Danes and Chihuahuas alike. The harness not only keeps your dog confined in the seat, but will protect them from injury in the event of a crash.

Dogs and cats can also benefit from pet car seats, which, quite like baby car seats, strap into your car to provide a comfortable place for them to sit safely. Without these devices pets often pace and can even fall off of the car seats when on rough roads. In order to prevent distraction and injury, it is best to keep your pet confined while driving. Another way to keep your pet contained is by using a crate or carrier. Make sure to keep carriers upright and secure in order to ensure your pet is comfortable throughout your trip.

Aquatic Animals

Securing your aquatic animals in a car is simple! For shorter drives (like from the vet to your house) you can put your fish and fully aquatic friends in a tall plastic bag that has a significant air bubble at the top, to ensure they have enough oxygen to make the trip. Make sure it doesn’t leak! For longer rides, use a covered, ventilated container that can be placed flat and securely on the floor of your car so that the water doesn’t spill.  For semi-aquatic animals like turtles, many of them can actually live outside of water for a time. Make sure their clean, cardboard box is ventilated and the bottom is filled with newspaper as a temporary substrate.

Birds and Other Caged Animals

Birds are delicate and easily stressed animals, so it is important that you remove as many stressors from their carrier as possible.  You may have to acclimate your bird to the car before going on a trip to ensure maximum comfort for them! Choose a carrier that is smaller than your bird’s usual cage, and secure it in the backseat of the car.

For rodents, mammals and weasels that usually live in cages, (rats, mice, guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas etc.) and for reptiles, make sure to use secure carriers with temporary bedding to ensure maximum comfort for your pet. These carriers, like all that have been mentioned here, should be secured in your car so that they do not move when taking hard turns or slamming on the brakes, and they should also be well ventilated. If your animal has temperature requirements, you should remain aware of the temperature of your car or their enclosure.

General Tips and Tricks

All in all, trips with your pet can be enjoyable for both of you as long as you are safe and comfortable. Make sure that your animal is acclimated to the car and driving before going on long trips. Bring harnesses and leashes to ensure that bathroom breaks and rest stops are safe and comfortable. Never leave your animal unattended in your vehicle, as car temperatures fluctuate quickly and could be dangerous for your pet. Don’t allow your animal to sit in your lap while you drive, as this could be distracting and unsafe. Finally, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves! If you have any other questions about Keeping Your Pet Safe in the Car, contact us!