There is actually high statistics of American pet owners who travel around holiday season with their beloved pets. Although it is not really unusual for certain pet owners to fly or cruise with their four-legged friends, a road trip is the easiest and most common way to travel with pets.
With the long holiday not too far now, you are probably contemplating on taking a road trip yourself to join your family before Christmas. Since holidays are meant to be enjoyed, why not take your furry pet on that long drive? Surely it can serve a good purpose of keeping you company during the long drive not to mention the fun you and your companion stand to have with a cute pet.
When you decide to take your pet, it is important to pay attention to certain details to stay safe while on the road. Millions of pet owners are unaware that dogs and cats can be placed at risk when they decide to take them on long road trips. That risk is minimized if you know “How to travel safely with your pet during the holidays.” This is the basic premise of this article written by Mark Phelan for Detroit Free Press-Autos Section.
In the article, the author talked about some of these potential risks:
“We recommend all pets be secured in vehicles,” said Ryan McTigue, Michigan Humane Society spokesperson. “You can use a crate or a harness that attaches to the seat belt for dogs. Cats should always be in a carrier. They don’t generally do well in cars,” and may slip out an open door or window or curl up among the pedals at the driver’s feet.
“It’s for the safety of the pet, and the people in the car,” said Dr. Alexander Byron of Greenfield Animal Hospital in Southfield. “An unsecured pet is potentially a projectile inside the vehicle, flying at 50 or 60 m.p.h. In an accident, it could hit the windshield and be injured, or it could strike one of the human occupants.” Even small dogs and cats could cause serious injuries if they hit a person — particularly a child — at that speed.
Unsecured pets can also be thrown out of the vehicle in an accident, where they may be injured, struck by another vehicle or simply wander away, lost and afraid.”
There are a few tips suggested in this article for travelling safely with your pets.
- Driving with your pet on your lap is a big no-no! It is dangerous for everyone inside the vehicle. The airbags can kill your pet outright. It can slip and get under the accelerator pedal or break that can put you in a dangerous position. It is best to keep dogs in harnesses or seatbelts and cats in crates.
- Don’t let your dog’s head stick out the window. Flying objects can injure its eyes. Its paws on the armrest can accidentally click the controls of the power windows. It can also distract the driver. Ultimately, the pet can jump through the window once it’s fully open.
- Make sure your pet wears a collar for easy ID. It must have a tag with your contact details such as mobile phone number, name and address. There are gadgets and apps you can put in the collar to easily trace your pet in case it gets separated from you such as a GPS system like the Tagg Pet Tracker.
- Train your pet to travel. You can expect your pet to be in the best behavior if they are taught how to behave when on travel. This means taking them out in the car more often and when they are still young. Take them on short trips at a time until they get use to travelling so that the distance can be increased. Just like in any regular training, you can reinforce good behavior with little delicious treats they love.
Genuine pet lovers will never leave their dogs behind especially around Christmas time. You need to understand, however, that travelling can be dangerous for them, for you, for other passengers, and for other cars in the road. The trick is to train them to travel with you and to keep them secured inside the vehicle so you need not unduly worry about safety while driving to some destination this holiday.