At FrontPoint, we consider our customers part of our family. Just like we want to protect our families, we strive to make sure each member of your household is secure and has peace of mind. This includes our furry companions: pets!
Keeping a pet safe can be a complicated task for any pet owner. Pet safety becomes even more difficult when traveling. In honor of National Pet Travel Safety Day, we’re sharing some advice to help keep your four-legged family members safe while traveling short or long distances.
Every time your pet needs to go in the car for any kind of trip, these are good rules to follow.
Tips for Everyday Pet Travel
- No rides in an open truck bed. Truck beds are not safe for any kind of passenger. Sudden stops, bumps and turns can throw your pet out. Leashing them is not any safer, as bumps and turns can cause them to choke. Riding in an open truck bed is also illegal in some states.
- Head and paws belong inside the car. Dogs love sticking their head out the windows, but it’s not safe. Small bits of debris can hit the eyes and ears, and the wind and cold air can cause inner-ear damage and lung infections. Open the window a crack, but don’t let your dog stick his entire head out the window.
- Use restraints. Just as you wear a seatbelt for our own safety, the same should be done for your pets. There are car harnesses for dogs that allow some mobility and some airplanes have integrated them. For smaller pets, carriers secured by a seat belt are the best option.
- No pets in the front seat. Always keep your pets in the back seat. A sudden stop can throw a passenger-side seated pet into the windshield. Pets can climb into the driver’s lap and either distract or interfere. During an accident, the airbag could cause serious injury.
- Never leave your pets in vehicles. In warm weather, or under direct sunlight, the temperature inside cars can rapidly rise to above 100 degrees. Cracking the window does not help. If you’re at a rest stop on longer trips, let your pet out (while leashed) to stretch their legs and get fresh air.Pet Safety for Long-Distance Travel
- Take your pet on short trips in the car to see how it behaves. If he/she reacts poorly (motion sickness is possible in pets), chances are he/she is not ready for a long trip. There is medication for motion sickness, and it would make a good opportunity to update your pets’ vaccinations in case it’s an extended stay.For pets traveling in carriers, let them get acclimated to the carrier before going on a long trip. Leave the carrier around the house so pets can get familiarized.
- Pack a travel kit. Put together a kit that can handle any pet emergencies. Health records, identification, and first aid items are essentials. Also consider portable bowls for food and water, items for waste removal, an extra leash, toys and treats.
- Safely entertain your pets. Just like the rest of us, pets can get restless when spending too much time in the car. Instead of letting your dog roam about the car or stick their heads out the window, let them play with a toy you brought in your travel kit. Or you could…
- Stop often for food, water and bathroom breaks. This allows your pets to stretch, get some fresh air and get ready for the next round. It’ll also give your pet the opportunity to get used to new surroundings.
- Bring proper food with you. Different areas sell different brands of pet food. You don’t want a pet with an upset stomach during a long trip. You should also never allow your pet to eat food off the ground or from strangers. People who don’t own pets may not know what foods are safe for pet consumption. Even worse, some sick people are purposely trying to poison pets.
Traveling with pets can be difficult. They’re excitable, they can get restless and they’re being introduced to new surroundings. There’s no telling what can happen during the course of a long road trip. Use these tips to make the necessary precautions and be prepared to keep your pets safe while traveling.
Have you taken your pets for a long distance trip? Let us know how you kept your pets safe while traveling in the comments below!