Traveling Dangers for Dogs and Cats
Photo Credit: a-n-v-e-s-h Unsplash
We all love our pets and want them to be part of every adventure. Whether embarking on a cross-country road trip or just exploring a new part of town, bringing along some creature comforts can provide many benefits. However, knowing the potential dangers of driving with a pet is essential if you hit the roads. From unbuckled pets to distracted drivers, there are several things pet owners should keep an eye out for when taking their furry friends on the road.
Animals can make driving more dangerous for everyone. Not only is their safety threatened, but passengers, drivers, and other road users must also be considered when deciding on any safety measures. In this post, we highlight three of the most common risks associated with driving with a pet and provide tips to help prevent pet-related accidents on the road.
Unbuckled Pets Can Cause Harm
It may seem obvious, but not buckling up your pet while driving can pose serious safety risks – not just for your dog or cat but everyone in the car. Even if you are only going on a short drive, it’s essential to buckle your pet into a harness or crate that is secured in place so they cannot escape or become a distraction. Your pet could injure themselves if they suddenly lunge forward during an emergency stop or swerve. In addition, having an unrestrained animal in the car can distract you from paying attention to the road and lead to an accident.
There are lots of different products available to help keep your pet secure in the car. Finding a solution that works for you and your furry friend may be a case of trial and error, but you must have the necessary safety equipment in place. If you’re traveling with a dog, unique canine seat belts suit smaller dogs or puppies more likely to wriggle around.
For larger animals, you can find a range of crates compatible with cars or trucks. Crates are designed to keep pets safe and secure. Prevent your dog from jumping around and becoming a distraction while you drive.
Err on the side of caution to prevent pet deaths
When in a crate, dogs are less likely to be startled by something they spot outside, helping to keep them settled for the journey. In many states and countries, driving with an unrestrained dog is illegal. Always best to err on the side of caution to prevent pet deaths. Nobody likes being given a moving violation or paying legal penalties, right?
Photo Credit: Tim Moss-holder Unsplash
Don’t Be a Distracted Driver
Driving with pets can also be dangerous if you, as the driver, become too distracted by your pet. If you constantly look away from the road because you’re playing with your pet or trying to keep your cat calm, your risk being involved in an accident due to decreased concentration and reaction time. Be sure that any interaction between you and your pet is brief and infrequent while you drive.
There are lots of things you can do to manage the risks associated with driving with a pet and prevent them from becoming an unwanted distraction. As referenced earlier, keeping them safe and restrained is essential – you don’t want them roaming around the car. Also, if you’re embarking on a longer drive, consider bringing their favorite toy or blanket from home and plenty of food and drink. This will ensure they have plenty to keep them entertained, helping them to stay calm.
Cars & Trucks Get Too Hot for Pets
Finally, one of the most severe risks of driving with a pet is leaving them unattended inside a hot car while running errands or shopping. This can be incredibly dangerous as temperatures inside cars can rise quickly – even on cooler days – causing animals to become distressed. Dogs and cats can die due to heatstroke. According to the RSPCA, when it’s 22°C outside, temperatures inside cars can rise to 47°C within an hour, making them highly unsafe for our pets.
Never leave your animal companion unattended inside a vehicle; instead, bring them along on errands or leave them at home, where they will stay relaxed and comfortable until you return. Many U.S. states even have laws prohibiting pet owners from leaving their animals confined in dangerous conditions within a vehicle, and owners could incur misdemeanor charges if caught.
It’s not just the temperature that can harm animals left in parked cars. A lack of ventilation and not having access to food or drink can also result in serious health complications for your pet, so if you cannot take them with you when you leave the car, it’s always best to keep them at home.
Take care of your pets
Driving with our furry friends is something responsible pet owners should do carefully, keeping safety your number one priority. Unbuckled pets, distracted drivers, and hot cars are three potential dangers to watch out for when hitting the open road with our animal companions by our side. But by adhering to basic safety principles, we can ensure that our pets and we have safe journeys wherever we go.
Guest Author bio: George Rock
Growing up in a family home with five dogs, I quickly developed a strong love for animals. Since graduating from university, I’ve spent my entire career working in conservation roles nationwide. My experiences inspire me to create informative blog posts to educate pet owners on the importance of animal welfare.