In the travel season, many drivers enjoy taking their pet for a ride. If you are traveling by car, there are certain minimum requirements that you should consider to protect the safety and health of your pet. Some minimum should be considered when preparing to travel with your pet.
In general, it is better for a pet to be confined in a rear seat or cargo compartment. A dog who is left free to wander around in a moving vehicle, can cause distraction, when your attention should be on the road. A sudden stop can create an unsafe situation for your pet. An airborne dog can hit the driver, passenger, or window, causing injury, loss of control, or death. Injuries to humans or passengers in an incident is likely when a pet is loose. Loss of vehicle control, while focusing on the pet, can have disastrous repercussions to the owner’s car and to people in other vehicles.
Cats can be even more problematic when traveling in a vehicle. Felines tend to want to climb to the highest point in the vehicle. This may be a dashboard, headrest, or back window sill. When they are in these areas, they can block the view of the driver and fall if the car stops suddenly. Both cats and dogs will be safer if they are placed in a carrier that is designed for their size and weight.
One option for pet safety is to provide a travel seat. This seat looks like a child’s car seat and raises the animal up so that they can see out of a window. Some of the seats include food and water slots or pouches, and have a large seat that allows the pet to lie down when they want.
Hammocks are sometimes used by travelers for their pets. Although these devices look great and allow the pet a little more movement, they are not necessarily the best choice if the vehicle is in a serious accident. There is no where on a hammock to secure your pet and keep it safe if there is a collision or sudden stop. You should make sure that the carrier is fastened down so that it cannot become airborne in the event of an accident.
Driving safely helps keep your pet safe and your vehicle insurance rates to remain low. You can make sure that your pet is safe and is not in a position where it can be injured if there is an accident. Confining your pet and making certain that there is plenty of water available will keep your pet from becoming dehydrated. It is also important to plan frequent stops for water and exercise and to take your pet with you when you leave your vehicle.