With a long weekend looming ahead, many families are planning Labor Day roadtrips and bringing their four-legged friends along for the ride. But like all travel, car trips can be dangerous for pets if proper safety precautions aren’t taken.
If a pet is left unrestrained or gets loose inside a moving vehicle, they can quickly become a distraction for the driver and result in harsh consequences for everyone involved. To keep yourself and your pet safe and happy on your upcoming road trip, here are a few tips from American Humane:
- To avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety, work your pet up to longer trips by taking shorter treks before taking on a long expedition.
- In case you and your pet are separated, be sure that all ID tags are properly affixed to your pet’s collar and that they have your current contact information, including cell numbers.
- Update your microchip registration and pet license information to ensure it is current and consider including the name and phone number of an emergency contact.
- Never leave pets unattended inside of vehicles. Remember that cars heat up fast—even with the windows cracked!
- Properly restrain, contain or crate your pets inside of your vehicle prior to your trip. Consider purchasing a specially-designed pet seat belt, carrier or barrier.
- Never allow pets to sit on your lap or remain in the front seat while you drive.
- Never allow pets to stick any portion of their bodies out the window. Although most dogs love to stick their heads out open windows, the wind can irritate mucous membranes and blow pieces of grit or other debris into their eyes. Pets could also be seriously injured by objects as you drive down the road.
- Pets should never be transported in the bed of a pickup truck. Not only can your pets injure themselves, but they can also cause an accident harming someone else.
- Do not leash your pet inside of a truck bed even when parked to avoid strangulation hazards and because open truck beds do not provide any protection from the weather. The hot sun can heat the metal floor of a truck bed enough to burn a pet’s paws. A dog left sitting in the sun without water or shade may suffer from heatstroke, so don’t risk it.
Keeping pets safe is every pet owner’s responsibility… and being a safe driver is not only your obligation — it’s the law. From all of us at American Humane, we’re wishing you and your four-legged family members a happy, safe Labor Day weekend!