National Pet Travel Safety Day, and why I wanted to share some helpful information to prepare you for some of the hazards and distractions that can occur when travelling with one or more dogs in a vehicle.
Pixel's Top 5 Dog Travel Safety Tips - traveling in a car with your pet:
1. Make sure your pet wears a harness/collar with identification on it. THIS IS MY MOST IMPORTANT TIP. Make sure the ID tags include Pet Name, Pet Parent Name, Address, at least 2 Phone Numbers, and Vet Name (if you have the room), plus anything else that might be helpful. I have a two sided ID tag that allows all that information to be printed on it. PetTags4Less.com is one website with double sided aluminum ID tags for dogs that come in many styles and colors. Mommy won't even let me walk out of the house, she won't even carry me out of the house unless I'm wearing identification that is not easily removable. If I were to get lost during a car accident, that ID tag could people bring me home.
2. Once inside the vehicle, make sure your pet is secured to the seat either straight to the seat belt or in a car seat, which should be securely attached to the seat or seat belt as well. Don't let them walk or jump around inside a moving vehicle. That is very dangerous for all involved, no matter how skilled a driver you may be.
3. Don't let your pet hang their head outside the window while driving (no matter how fun or cute it is). Think of what could happen if a stray rock or worse flew into your dog's eye or face. And the intense wind is not good for our lungs in all honesty either. Sad but true.
4. Make sure to carry fresh water and a small drinking bowl for your pet so they can have a fresh drink any time you stop.
5. Try not to have your pet travel on a full stomach. If they are nervous travelers or have queasy stomachs, you don't want to see their lunch come back on your seat. If you must feed them, feed them lightly so their hunger is satisfied but save any full meal for later after you are off the road, unless that cannot be avoided.
Some dogs love traveling in the car, others get very nervous. Some pets might start out very nervous about traveling when they are young, but end up loving every second of a car ride. And yet still other dogs might love riding in vehicles their whole lives, then as they get old and into their senior years, with failing health, suddenly become anxious when riding in a vehicle. That happened with my older sister Morgan. She traveled across the entire continent with Mommy for years in a truck with no problems, but once she hit 14 years old, she suddenly became unable to travel in a car without extreme anxiety. You just need to read your pet, and adjust things accordingly.
Trust me, us dogs are very adaptive. Our main goal is to always be with you, so anything that you can do to ensure we stay with you safely...will make us happy. Do you have any additional tips or advice you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about it. Leave me a comment and I'll add it to the list.