Cars and Canines: Safe Driving With Your Dog
Some dogs just love jumping into the car and probably consider it one of life’s great experiences whilst some owners will tell you that cars and canines simply don’t mix. Whatever your own experience with your dog, there will be plenty of times where they need to travel in the car with you and you need to be fully prepared in order to enjoy a safe and more pleasant journey with your dog.
Stay on the Right Side of the Law
A good starting point when talking about safe driving with your dog is making sure that you comply with the law and secure your dog properly. Many of us don’t often have much of an idea on what state laws apply to us when we're driving our dogs and we probably only find out when fined at the roadside.
Each state has different laws and there are places where it is illegal to drive with a dog on your lap. In almost every state, allowing your pet to cause you to crash can result in a violation of distracted driving laws. One of the safest methods of transportation is to use crash-tested crates which are reinforced and durable, so that your dog gets better protection in a crash and gets to travel in comfort while also reducing the chance of causing a distraction.
Traveling with dogs in the car can take its toll on the interior of your car and one thing to consider is to fit some car seat covers like those available at ShearComfort.com. You will also want to be prepared for the journey by packing an emergency kit in the car. The sort of things you need in your emergency kit include a bowl and some bottled water, paper towels, first aid supplies, and poop bags.
You might want to consider including a favorite toy or blanket if your dog doesn’t travel well and is in need of a distraction. If motion-sickness is a regular issue, ask your vet about anti-nausea medications to help the journey go smoothly.
Preparing to Travel
It is just asking for trouble if you feed your dog right before you set off on a journey or midway through a longer trip. A dog traveling on a full stomach doesn’t mix well with a car in motion and you could soon end up regretting the decision, so try to aim for a mealtime that is at least three hours before you travel. If you are staying a while at your destination and it is not too far away, you may also consider feeding them when you arrive.
In the Car Alone
It can take just 15 minutes in a hot car to cause your dog some serious damage; and, even with a little ventilation, temperatures can soon reach dangerous levels. It is best not to leave your dog in the car alone at any time and especially in extremes of hot and cold weather. Try to make your dog’s journey as pleasant and safe as possible by following recommended advice and remember to always take them with you when you leave the car at the end of your drive.
About the Author
Paul Skye earns his living as a safety officer and advisor. He likes to share his ideas and insights online and has already written for a number of relevant websites.