Road Trip Dog Car Safety TipsZoom, zoom! Dog’s can’t help but get a huge grin on their face at the sound of an engine revving. Dog safety while driving is just as important as human safety. Here are a few safety tips to consider in order to ensure a stress free, fun, safe road trip and journey for all passengers. We hope you have a smooth ride! Buckle up furiends!

1. Seating: Never allow your lap dog to sit on your lap while driving. In the event that you are in a car accident your dog may be crushed between the airbag and yourself in the collision. Also make sure your dog is seating still in the back seat for his own safety and so you are not distracted.

Place your dog in a crate (especially if he is a puppy) for the first few car rides so that he feels safe and secure. You could also use a puppy car seat. This will not only protect your puppy in the event of an accident, it will also prevent him from jumping into the front of the car while you’re driving.

2. Dog Seat Belts: Safety first! Whether your dog is riding shot gun or cruising in the back seat. It is important that your fidgety dog is secured by a harness seat belt (more liberating) or well ventilated cage. You can buy a pet specific seat belt similar to the “Y” straps on infant car seats.

3. Windows: Allowing your dog to drive with their head outside the window is risky business and dangerous. Although having the wind blow through your fur can be invigorating it should not be allowed. Though it is sad to deprive your dog of this enjoyment, the reality is that many dogs become injured. Rocks, grit, debris, bugs and dust in the air can be damaging to your dogs eyes, nostril and windpipe. Unexpected bumps or swerves on the road could throw your travel happy dog get over board. If you own a pick up truck the open cargo bed is not a safe place for a dog, even though Hollywood movies glorify it. If you must place your dog in the back of a pick up truck get a special crate and securely tie it down. Better yet, place the dog in a carrier in the back of an extended or crew cab. As for convertibles, although cool driving with the top down with your canine buddy, we recommend the top stays up or you invest in a sturdy harness. Another fear is that your dog could accidentally strangle themselves by stepping on the electric window control. Keep the windows cracked for your dog so there is proper airflow and comfort.

4. Motion Sickness: Some dogs find car rides to be nauseating and torturous. So really consider when it is appropriate to take along for the ride.  If you must take such a dog out, make sure he has eaten no more than 5 hours before the drive and try to keep him calm, distracted and focused by giving him a chew toy to pass the time. If your dog continues to suffer from car sickness you vet can prescribe medication.

5. Food And Water: Always be prepared!  Remember to pack snacks, water and a bowel for your dog. The excitement of car travel will make your dog pant, panting makes him thirsty for a drink. With all that H2O your dog is bound to take a leak. Make sure you make pit hydrant stops along the way to relieve your dogs bladder.

6. Walks: Drinking makes him want to take a walk. Before opening the car door to walk a traveling pet, make sure his leash is secure and scan the area for other traveling dogs. Hole the leash tightly as you get out. You do not want anything to cause him to bolt, especially near a roadway.

7. Leaving Your Dog In The Car: Never leave your dog in a hot car, even with the windows cracked because your car will quickly turn into a oven in minutes. Heatstroke is a common cause of death in dogs during those long hot summer months.

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