Keeping Your Pet Safe When Traveling in the Car

Even if you don’t frequently take your dog on car rides, chances are, they ride in the car at least sometimes, whether going to the vet, a boarding facility, doggie daycare, vacation, or to a friend’s house. You always make sure you and your children are properly buckled up, but what about your pet? Letting your dog roam freely in the car can pose many dangers.

When your pet is not restrained, they can quickly become a distraction as they move about, and they may block your view when trying to see as you pass other vehicles, merge, turn, or park. If you have a small dog that rides in your lap, it can restrict your arm movement and also be very distracting when you should be paying attention to the road. Furthermore, if you come to a sudden stop or get into an accident, an unrestrained pet can become a projectile object and be seriously harmed.

It’s a good idea to practice proper pet safety even when going short distances in the car.

Buckle up!

Make sure your dog has a safety-approved harness or tether for the car. This can allow them some freedom to move about while keeping them secure while the vehicle is in motion. If your dog is nervous traveler (or you just want some extra security), a crate can be a good option as well. Ensure that it is large enough that your dog can comfortably stand up, turn around, and lay down. Don’t forget to secure the crate in the car as well! Also, keep your dog in the backseat of the car. If they ride up front, they may be injured by the airbag if it deploys.

Stay Inside

It’s tempting to let your dog stick its head out the window and get some fresh air, but this can actually be quite dangerous. First, it can dry out their eyes and nose. Plus, they run the risk of being struck with flying debris from the road, pieces of gravel, or even bugs. You also don’t want them to accidentally jump or fall out of the window if they get scared or excited, or if you come to a sudden stop. Putting the window down about an inch will give them plenty of fresh air and new scents while keeping them safer.


It’s a great idea to have your dog microchipped, even if they normally wear a collar with ID tags. If their collar should break or be removed, there is still a way for authorities to identify them. Always make sure your dog has some type of identification, especially if they’re the type that darts from the car as soon as the door is opened.

Buddy Up

Never leave your dog alone in the car, even if it’s just for a few minutes. If you can’t take them with you, or you don’t have someone who can stay in the car with them, leave your dog at home.  Temperatures can quickly rise or fall creating an unsafe and uncomfortable situation inside the car. Furthermore, you don’t want someone to break in and steal your pet.

If you’re going on a longer trip, bring some comfort items such as a blanket or toy, and make sure to pack your pet’s own food and snacks along with some bottled water. Don’t forget to stop every two to three hours so that everyone can get out, stretch, and use the restroom.

At Lake Wylie Pet Resort, we love pets, so keep yours safe when coming to see us for doggie daycare, boarding, or grooming. Take the same kind of caution you do when putting yourself or your children in the car. Learn more about available services by contacting us today. We can’t wait to see you and your furry friend!

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