How to Keep Your Pet Safe in the Car

by | Apr 22, 2021

Trips to the vet, groomer, or pet sitter can stress out your dog, especially if they connect motoring with an alarming event. Some dogs love their groomer, others need to be muzzled. If you’re taking your dog camping, they probably know it, and will thrive on the expectation of leash-led trail hikes and local dog beaches. Your dog’s personality and breed will largely dictate what kind of experience you both have traveling together, but here are some basic tips for pet owners everywhere, no matter what vehicle you drive.
1. When it’s cold or freezing out, your pet will appreciate a safe hot water bottle wrapped in a soft towel, but this time of year, we worry more about heat and sun exposure. If left in the car while you shop, they must have the air conditioning left on. Many retailers are adopting a dog-friendly attitude, so when traveling, call ahead or do a little research to find out if you can take your dog inside the store with you.
2. If your pet gets motion sickness, there are several pet-care edibles on the market to remedy this problem. Puppies and younger dogs are more prone to nausea, and a good water supply is always helpful. If they face forward while traveling, they will probably experience less sickness.
3. Shop for a specially designed seat belt for your dog. New models are comfortable and secure. If seatbelts don’t work for you, a dog crate or cage-secured (barrier) back area in your vehicle is recommended. It’s never ideal to let your dog travel in a pickup box untied and unattended, as this can lead to injuries.

The Cat’s Meow

If you’re traveling with a cat, good luck. Yikes. Just kidding. Normally, if you’ve taken your cat with you in the car since s/he was a kitten, there won’t be a problem. Travelling will be perceived as something normal, and not a threatening experience. It’s always best to secure your cat, like all pets, in case you need to brake suddenly or (heaven forbid) you’re in a fender bender. Unlike dogs, who sometimes thrive on noise, your cat may need more soundproofing because of audio sensitivity and cat-nerves, so it’s a good idea to keep the tunes off or low, and avoid other cabin noise when possible. Some cats do very well in the heat, unless they are obese, or have health problems, but you still need to leave the AC on for them if you leave them in the car during the summer months when it’s hot, and protect them from full sun exposure. Some cat owners administer pheromones to alleviate anxiety, but ask your vet or pet supplies staff for solutions before you travel.

Let’s get your vehicle ready for the road so you, your family, and your pets can enjoy that first spring camping trip without mishap.
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If you’re getting ready for your first outdoors adventure, you may also be interested in reading our Trailer Services and Repair article.

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