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How To Safely Travel With Your Pets

Earlier this month, on January 2nd, we celebrated National Pet Travel Safety Day. Mom said it’s a great time to remind you about pet safety when traveling with your fur baby!

Now if you are taking a plane, bus or train, everyone seems to get what needs to be done and properly restrains their pet in an appropriate carrier according to the rules of the transportation company.

But when it comes to traveling with your cat or dog in a car, all common sense seems to go right out the window for many drivers! She says she can’t believe how many cars she sees with a pet on the driver’s lap or standing in the back seat with its head out the window.

She even sees large dogs roaming free in the back of a SUV!

All of these are big no-no’s mom says, because of all the crazy drivers out there! We live in Northern New Jersey and mom says the old adage “drive defensively” has more than one meaning today!

When you let your pet roam around the car, regardless of their size and whether they are tiny and you think you can can hold them on your lap securely, consider what can happen if your car gets involved in an accident.

  1. Your unrestrained pet can become a projectile. If you need to stop short, your pet could fly forward or backwards, hurting itself, you or worse.

  2. It can be thrown out of the car in an accident and then hit by a car in a neighboring lane.

  3. A pet on your lap in the front seat can die from the airbags deploying.

  4. A large dog can fly forward in an accident and impede you both from escaping from a car on fire or in the water.

Simply said, all pets need to be restrained while traveling in a car. No exceptions. 

And it is so easy today with a plethora of carriers for cats and small dogs, as well as harnesses for the larger dogs that attach to the seat belts.

Personally speaking, Beau and I only travel in the car when we go to the vet 1-2 times a year. Mom attaches our carrier to the seat belts during the trip.

It’s not enough to put your cat in the carrier and set it on the seat unrestrained. It needs to be anchored to the seat, just like you humans with your seat belts buckled!

One comment about letting your canine hang it’s head out the window to enjoy the wind blowing in their face. This is actually a very dangerous thing to do as the dog can be injured in the process.

One thing that can happen is getting hit in the face by twigs, bugs or little stones kicked up by the car’s tires and carried in the air, injuring their corneas with tiny particles that go flying by.

While the dogs love it, it is really not a good habit on any level.

Thankfully, if a dog is properly restrained, it cannot reach the window and is much safer.

It only takes a little forethought to consider the dangers of car travel today. Be sure your cat and dog are properly restrained for their safety, and yours!


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