Whether it’s just a short drive or a cross-country trip, take basic precautions to help your precious canine cargo stay safe. Here are essential safety tips for driving with dogs.
1. Secure Dogs in Their Seats
Just like their human parents and siblings, dogs should buckle up while on the road. One of the safest ways to drive with your dog is to secure them with a seat belt car harness. These harnesses help keep your pet secure and confined to their seat, which allows you to keep your focus on the road without any paws crawling around you or behind you. A harness also helps ease fears about an unrestrained dog in the event of an accident.
2. Ease Anxiety
If your furry friend is a nervous traveler or is overwhelmed by car rides, try creating a cozy mobile home. Travel crates can make driving with dogs easier by allowing them to snuggle up safely and ride comfortably. If your dog barks or is triggered by people or dogs outside the window, covering the crate with a blanket can help encourage them to be calm and quiet. Using a bed or blanket from home will allow your dog to adjust faster.
3. Put a Barrier Between the Driver and Passenger Seats
If your dog loves riding shotgun, but loves being the driver more, a barrier will help keep them from climbing onto your lap. Obviously, you could be easily distracted by kisses, a wiggly tail or ears in your line of vision. Instead of allowing them in the front at all, there are special fences that can be installed into the back of your car. This is a safe way for your dog to ride in the car, allowing them to spread out and allowing you to drive.
4. Plan Potty and Walk Breaks
If you’re taking a long trip with your dog, make sure to pack snacks and plan potty breaks. Treats and chew toys can also help keep your pup busy and prevent them from getting anxious. Even if you have a shorter trip, give them the opportunity to go potty before and after being the car.
5. Turn the Air Up
Don’t leave your dog in the car alone, especially if the car isn’t running. What could feel like a nice day could quickly become dangerously hot for a dog in the car. Even with the windows cracked the car can still heat up fast. When driving with dogs, make sure you’re checking on your pup frequently to make sure you have enough air circulating to keep them comfortable.