Buckle up, Fido! Safety tips for traveling with pets

More often than not, pet owners eventually find themselves in situations where they need to travel with their pet in the car – veterinary appointments, grooming, rides to the park, and road trips, to name a few. With these excursions being an essential part of owning a pet, it is vital to ensure your pet’s safety while traveling in your vehicle.

Before you buckle up your pet, it’s important to note that your pet should always be in the back seat. While airbags may protect you during a crash, they were not designed to protect your pet. Further, by riding in the backseat, your pet will be less of a distraction to you as you navigate your vehicle.

Since, there are many different kinds of pet restraint options available, here are some of the most popular, which are also compatible with most vehicles:

  • Carriers – Typically the most restrictive option, carriers are also the safest for cats and smaller dogs. Some carriers can be attached to your car’s LATCH system or through the seat belt. However, it is not recommended that larger dogs be confined to tight spaces while traveling.
  • Harnesses – Designed with dogs in mind, harnesses attach to your vehicle’s seatbelts and are proven highly effective in crash tests at speeds up to 30 mph. Some harnesses allow your pet to move more or less freely.
  • Barriers – The easiest way to secure your pet while still allowing them wiggle room, barriers are mainly designed for SUVs, wagons, and mini vans. However, there are net barrier attachments for virtually any type of vehicle that prevent your pet from climbing into the front seat, trunk, or even out windows that can be installed without damaging your car’s interior.

Granted, being constrained and unable to move freely is an uncomfortable experience for any animal, especially if they are not used to traveling in your vehicle. However, here’s a couple accessories that both protect your vehicle and help your pet feel more at ease.

  • When strapped in a harness, a pet bed will make your dog feel more comfortable than laying across the back seat.
  • Biscuits, treats, and toys are always a good distraction from the stress of travel.
  • Cargo mats and liners can protect the floor of your vehicle from unexpected accidents and leaks.

Some retailers that cater to your furry friends include PetSmart, Petco, Petland, and Pet Supplies Plus. Additional online options include Solvit Products, Doctors Foster and Smith, Front Gate, and Oh My Dog Supply.

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