How to travel safely with your dog

May 10 2018


Trips to the beach or the trailhead just aren't the same without your four-legged friend. But traveling with pets can be an adventure in itself. How do you ensure the safety and comfort of your pet while on the road? 

Start With the Necessities

While you're traveling, pets should wear collars and tags containing your up-to-date contact info in case you get separated. At a minimum, pack a strong leash, blankets and a favorite toy, and enough food and water to get your pet through the trip.

Keep Comfort in Mind

Do your best to make sure your pet gets plenty of water during your trip; you don't want them getting dehydrated. Depending on the length of your trip and your pet's comfort level with travel, limit their food intake as they can get motion sickness. And while you're on the road, remember to take frequent potty and exercise breaks.

Whenever your pet is in the car, run the AC or roll down the windows to keep the vehicle ventilated, and never leave them unattended. Even with the windows cracked, temperatures can heat up drastically in a short period.

Focus on Safety

Keeping your pet restrained is safer for you and your pet. You've got a few choices: 

  • Safety belts: Best for larger dogs, these full-body harnesses secure the animal and minimize the risk of injury in case of an accident.
  • Car seats: Best for smaller or medium-sized animals, these booster seats function somewhat like a child's car seat by buckling into the vehicle's existing safety belt.
  • Crates: These are the most effective method of eliminating distractions and protecting pets from trauma in case of an accident. Crates also reduce the risk of animals escaping from the car when you open the door.

Your best option will depend on the size of your pet and your vehicle. Consult the Center for Pet Safety for more recommendations.

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