Summer is here and that means more cars on the road and more pets coming with us. I have plans to head up to Vermont in July and a few other weekend travel trips planned with all three of my dogs, statistically – so do you.
If you’re leaving pets behind like your cat, or for me, my cat and chickens – do not forget to book your pet sitter now! Summer dates fill up fast, especially around the 4th of July and Labor Day.
What prompted me to re-write this post seeing as I covered this back in the winter during holiday travel was a video circulating that depicts in horror – exactly why securing your pets while you travel is so critical. Despite posting this video on our Facebook page, I still received a response about how when one person travels with their dog they would never let the window open so far as to allow the dog to fall out. However, is that dog that can’t fall out of the window secured from smashing into your head or neck when you have to slam on the brakes – or worse – get into an accident?
Traveling With Your Pets In The Car
This is taken directly from my previous post, but there isn’t a better way to say it.
There are various ways in which you can travel with your pet in the car; seat restraints, crates, booster seat, zip line tether, barricade – you name it – BUT if you leave your pet loose in the car you just armed your vehicle with a projectile.
An unrestrained 10 lb animal involved in an accident where your car was traveling 50 MPH will crash into you with 500 lbs of force. An 80 lb dog involved in a crash at 30 MPH will hit you with about 2,400 lbs of force – sadly no one is coming out of either situation well. Please restrain your pets when you travel for their safety, yours and others on the road.
I was rear-ended by a woman a few years back who had her Shitzu in her lap at the time – she didn’t bother to get out to see if everyone was OK. Let’s just say that particular driver received a lengthy safety warning from me after I asked if she and her dog were OK. The people that drive with their animals hanging out of the front window – or in their lap for that matter are playing Russian Roulette with their pet’s lives and it makes me so sad. Don’t do it, not for one second. I don’t care if Fluffy just loves it, its dangerous and thankfully in some states like Rhode Island its illegal – talk about distracted driving!
The Must Have’s When Traveling With Your Pets This Summer
For those that are going to travel and do so safely, here are a few items besides some type of pet restraint that are recommended to have with you on the road.
- Water and bowl
- Food – more than just enough for how long you are gone, delays happen
- A spare car key – practice at home first, leave the car running with the AC on and lock it. Some cars do not allow this and you need to get a setting changed from your dealership. It is imperative that when it’s above 65 degrees, your animal is left with air conditioning. Cracking the windows is NOT ENOUGH. Make certain you have enough gas to leave the vehicle running for the amount of time needed
- Baby Wipes – they make cleanups much easier
- Favorite toy – especially one that holds their attention
- Proper and up-to-date ID’s on your pets
- 1st aid kit for you and them – for info on building a pet first aid kit, check out our video
- Your pet’s rabies certificate – the tag is often not enough for proof if you ever need to show it
The Must Know’s When Traveling With Your Pets This Summer Season
Traveling is a new environment for some of your pets. If you’re going for the long haul, make sure you work up to your animal’s comfort level by doing some small trips at first. When you are ready to go the distance be certain to know ahead of time these factors listed below:
- Pet-friendly stops and places to eat
- Safe ways to leave your pets SECURED in the car
- Safe places to stop for a potty break – we’re heavy travelers and tend to map out good places to stop with our dogs. Be ever so careful – most rest stops are very close to the highway which is not only a fast-paced high risk for your pet’s safety, it presents a stressful and often unusual noise which can make going potty a challenge
The more prepared you are for the safety of you and your pets – the better off you and everyone will be.
Stay safe, enjoy the summer with your family and friends; most importantly – be your pet’s hero, keep them safe this season.