Travel With Your Pet This Summer With These Safety Tips

The road trip – classic American tradition kept alive by families across the country. As summer approaches and we plan our vacation, we make a dozen decisions on what routes to take, what to bring, and sometimes if we will bring our family pet along. Whether you’re just going for a ride around town or a ride around the country, there are some precautions you should take to ensure your dog’s safety, as well as your own.

Keep your dog in the back seat

While your dog may want to ride by your side and copilot your adventure, the front seat is one of the most dangerous places for your dog. Just like they are unsafe for young children, front airbags can be potentially harmful to your dog.

Having your dog in the front seat isn’t just dangerous for your dog, it’s also dangerous for the driver and passenger. Dog’s in the front seat can cause a distraction, increasing your risk of an accident.

People with a dog ride a car on Naberezhnaya Tarasa Shevchenko Street during the pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) | Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS

If you have an SUV, there are several aftermarket products that can help turn your cargo space into a dog-friendly kennel-like area. Some cars even come with dog-friendly trims, like the Pet Package of the Aston Martin DBX.

Harnesses, dog seats, and kennels

Using restraining devices for your dog is just as important as using seatbelts for your children. Because you can’t strap your dog in with a seatbelt, there are lots of harnesses and other devices created to keep your dog safely in place in case of an accident.

If your dog has a particularly difficult time staying in the backseat and is constantly climbing around the car’s cabin, a seat harness that attaches to the seatbelt can help keep your dog safely in place.

Because it is important to keep your dog in the back seat, and most children are too young to ride in the front seat, sometimes this means having your dog and passengers together in the rear seat. For everyone’s comfort and safety, ensuring your dog can’t romp around on anyone’s lap is also important.

A parishioner’s dog looks out of a window as they sit in their cars to socially distance | PAUL FAITH/AFP

Avoid These Common Road Trip Mistakes This Summer

For smaller dogs, there are soft travel cases that act as booster seats or kennels that can be strapped to the eat and fastener for your dog’s safety. This can also be beneficial for puppies that are small enough to fit. Another benefit of the travel-kennel option is that it makes moving your dog in and out of the car that much safer because you don’t have to struggle with a leash and risk them jumping out of the car and running off.

Bringing along your family pet can make your adventures a little bit more fun and memorable, but can also be stressful and dangerous. With some basic rules and precautions you can make driving around town or across the country an adventure for everyone, including your four-legged friends, safe and fun.