Summertime often means road trips. Whether spending the day at a local park or heading to see family a few states away, everyone packs up the car, piles in, and heads out. Often times, this means taking the family dog too. While some dogs are an anxious mess, others love hopping in the backseat and going for a ride. No matter which category your dog falls into, keeping them safe while in the car should be a top priority.
You wouldn’t dream of putting your kids in the car without ensuring they were safely strapped into a car seat or had their seat belt buckled, and the same should apply to your dog. Giving your dog free roam of the vehicle is asking for trouble. In the blink of an eye, they can become a distraction and potentially cause an accident. If you slam on the breaks or get into a wreck, an unrestrained dog can become a dangerous projectile. Dogs should never sit in the front seat, regardless of their size.
Put your dog in the back and make sure they are secured every time they ride in the car, no matter how short of a trip.
- Harness: There are a variety of different styles of dog harnesses that clip into the seat belt buckles and keep your dog from falling off the seat or flying through the window.
- Crate: For an extra level of protection, secure your dog in a crate when riding in the car. This can be especially helpful for longer trips. Make sure the crate is large enough that your dog can comfortably stand up, turn around, and lay down.
- Seat barrier: If you’re not sold on the idea of strapping your dog in, at the very least install a barrier to keep them from getting into the front seat or being thrown forward in an accident. You can get devices that fit across the back of the front seats, or that contain them in the cargo area of an SUV.
Cars can heat up very quickly, so turn on the air conditioning so everyone is comfortable. If the temperature isn’t too bad, you can open the windows to create a breeze. Just make sure that your dog is not sticking their head (or body) out of the window. While your dog may love the wind in his or her face, this can actually be very dangerous. It can dry out their eyes and nose, and they can get injured if debris flies up from the road and hits their face.
And don’t forget: never leave your dog alone in the car, even with the air conditioning running. You never know what kind of trouble they could get into.
Try to avoid feeding your dog in the car, as they can choke or become carsick. They can also make a mess with crumbs and stray food that can attract unwanted ants or other critters into your vehicle. Take periodic breaks to let your dog get out to go to the bathroom, eat, drink, and run around to stretch their legs and burn off some energy. Even though they can move around in the car or in their crate, their movement is still limited. If your dog is not a good car rider, or there just isn’t a lot of room in the vehicle, consider going it alone and boarding your dog at Lake Wylie Pet Resort instead. You can have peace of mind that they will be safe, well cared for, and have plenty of room to run and play. They can even get groomed during their visit! Contact us today to schedule your dog’s next stay.