Whether you bring your dog to the park to play ball or across North Carolina to visit family, you want your pet to travel safely and comfortably inside your car. Follow these tips for driving with your best friend in the backseat.
How to Drive With a Pet in the Car
Ensure Safe Travels
No matter how long or short the drive, you need to make sure your pet will be safe. Let smaller pets travel in a well-ventilated crate that is properly secured to a seat or on the floor of the cabin. It can be dangerous and distracting for animals to wander loose around the vehicle.
For larger animals, fold the back seats down or get rid of clutter to free up available space for your pet to comfortably lie down.
It’s also important that you don’t let your pet hang their head out the window. If you do, you run the risk of your pet jumping out and getting injured. If you stop along the journey, never leave your pet unattended in the parked car, especially in extreme temperatures.
Just as you would pack your travel necessities, it’s important to pack everything your pet could need for a car ride. Store a backpack with treats, food, and water along with any toys to keep them occupied during longer journeys. Make sure you pack a sturdy leash and collar for your pet, so they are safe when getting out of the car. And don’t forget the waste bags in case your pet has to go to the bathroom.
Prepare Your Pet
If your pet has never been in the car or on a long car ride before, you can prepare them prior to the journey by getting them used to shorter trips. Visit the local park or ride around the neighborhood to see how your pet adjusts to being in the car. When you’re ready to depart, make sure your pet has gone to the bathroom, and don’t feed them in case the ride upsets their stomach.
Plan for Emergencies
Whether you’re traveling near or far, it’s always a good idea to keep a first aid kit for your pet in the car that includes tweezers, gauze, sterilizing agents, and a towel. If you’re planning a longer trip, research the veterinary hospitals along your route in case of an emergency.