More than 80 percent of dog owners enjoy traveling with their pets by car, but did you know there are an estimated 30,000+ car accidents in the U.S. each year that are caused by unrestrained pets? It is undeniable that taking a trip with your best friend is a lot more fun than traveling alone.
In order to keep you and your pet safe while riding in the car, you should take the necessary safety precautions and operate your vehicle by following all state and federal traffic laws. To ensure that you and your furry pal have an enjoyable driving experience, here are some ways your pet can be safely secured in the vehicle.
Your Dog Must Learn to Be Quiet
A dog that is barking or making noise can interfere with the driver’s mental ability and concentration when driving a car. When the barking dog draws the driver’s attention away from the road, it is very dangerous to everyone in the car. At the same time, this also becomes a safety hazard to others on the road, so teaching your dog to be quiet in the car is very necessary.
Alleviate Your Dog’s Anxiety before Driving
Some dogs hate riding in the car because they have had some bad experiences or are prone to car sickness. For the first condition, you should let your dog know that not all rides in the car will end badly. First, get your dog used to the car without actually driving somewhere. Next, take your dog on a short car ride, such as around the block a few times. Remember to give your dog a treat or praise him for being quiet and well-behaved in the car, and gradually increase your driving time to get your dog used to the car experience. For a dog that suffers from car sickness, you may want to consult your veterinarian as he may recommend a medication to remedy the problem. You might also try driving with your dog at night when he is most calm and perhaps even sleepy.
Keep Your Pet from Becoming Overly Excited in the Car
In contrast to anxiety, there are some dogs that will become very excited when riding in the car. These dogs enjoy every trip and get so excited at the opportunity, they cannot control their enthusiasm. At first, you might be happy, or at least entertained, to see your dog so happy about riding in the car, but sooner or later, these ‘wild’ behaviors can become a big headache. For this condition, you should increase your dog’s exercise before going for a ride, and change your music style to something more relaxing, such as classical music or other soft music, as you ride along. This will help your dog to stay a little quieter, or maybe even fall asleep, during the ride.
Make Sure Your Dog Allows You to Drive Safely
When you teach your dog not to disturb you when you are behind the wheel, you should also make sure his safety is not at risk either. Dogs are sometimes just like a small child, curious about everything around them and often wanting to play during the wrong times. This can cause severe injury to your pet and passengers, so it is important to follow these dog training tips to keep your dog free from injury and happy to ride.
Driving Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe
1.Never feed your furry friend while inside a moving vehicle, even if it is going to be a long ride. A dog with a full tummy and a car in motion can be a bad combination for dog owners. Don’t forget to pack a travel water dish for long rides to keep him happy or he might go looking for a drink in your soda glass.
2. Avoid letting your pet ride with his head outside of the car window. This will protect your dog from becoming injured by flying objects or by accidentally becoming excited and jumping out of the car, causing severe injury or death.
3. Bring along a favorite toy or pet bed which can help comfort your dog while he is riding in the car. Also, when the normal routine is disrupted, toys and pet pillows or beds can give your dog a sense of familiarity and calm his fears.
4. Keep all dogs out of the front seat and away from your lap as this is very dangerous and can easily cause an accident. Even if you do not wreck your vehicle, your dog could be injured or killed by an air bag or by becoming tangled in the steering wheel, especially if he is a puppy.
Types of Dog Restraints for Cars
In order to restrain your dog, making him stay in the car, you will need some objects to help you. Your decision should be based on many individual factors when you choose which restraint will keep your dog safe. Below are some of the various ways that will help you make a more informed decision for your dog.
Putting pets in a travel crate is one of the most popular choices for dog restraint in the car. There are soft dog crates, wire dog crates and plastic dog crates that owners can choose from, depending on individual needs and the available space in your vehicle. Crates are a preferred choice when you have the necessary space available in the car.
A dog seat belt is another great choice if your dog will sit quietly in the seat while you are driving. It is more convenient and much easier to use these dog seat belts than dog crates. When your vehicle comes to a sudden stop, this belt can prevent the dog from sustaining injures. There are several types of dog seat belts that come in a wide variety of price ranges so you can easily find the size and amount you can afford.
For small dogs, there are dog car seats which may be the perfect choice for your fur baby. You can choose from several styles and types of dog safety seats, some of which can be secured with the car’s seat belt or to an included restraint that attaches to your seat or seat belt. These dog safety seats are cushioned to not only make your dog feel comfort, but to also help elevate small dogs so they can easily see out the window.
Because you and your dog do not want to suffer from injures that occurred in your car, you should make the necessary changes and take the preparations needed to protect the safety of you and your pet. Having a good trip with your four legged friend means having the right dog travel supplies and dog safety equipment in your vehicle at all times.
Are you and your dog ready to ride?