Driving With Your Pet Can Be Fun, but Is It Safe?

Pet dog in car.

Not all pets enjoy cruising in the car, but some go absolutely crazy for the experience. While this opens up loads of opportunities for pets and their people, it’s not an experience that should be taken lightly. Distracted driving is one of the largest risks on the roads today. To keep all passengers safe from harm, we have some tips on safely driving with your pet.

Together Forever

There are few things cuter than rolling up alongside a car that appears to be driven by a pet. Of course, pets that love the car are likely to enjoy sitting on their owner’s lap. Unfortunately, all it takes is a quick stop or a turn taken too fast for an injury to occur. Do not let your pet climb into your lap in the driver’s seat unless you are parked.

I Love You (From the Back Seat)

Some states are addressing distracted driving head-on, including passing laws against texting while driving. Similarly, some states are moving to prohibit drivers from allowing their pets to sit on the driver’s lap while the car is moving. Without a doubt, it’s not only hard to concentrate on the road and other drivers, but driving distracted can lead to seriously harming your pet, other passengers, and fellow drivers.

Solving Problems

The best way to travel with your pet in the car is to safely restrain them in the backseat. Unrestrained pets can easily hop between the front and back rows, leap out of windows, and generally cause chaos inside the vehicle. 

A car accident, whether it’s considered minor or major, can lead to airbag injury, ejection from the vehicle, or even loss or separation if your pet walks away from the scene of the crash.

Driving With Your Pet

Upholding certain safety rules is easy. It may take a little time to train your pet to accept the new normal, but the benefits definitely outweigh the risks of unsafe driving practices.

Invest in a sturdy crate or travel kennel and be sure that it cannot wobble when installed in the back seat. Use your car’s seat belt system to attach the crate.

Alternatively, an approved harness can be connected to the vehicle’s tethers to keep their movements restricted. Purchase a barrier to install between the front and back seats to inhibit wandering throughout the car.

Click It Or Ticket

Should a pet be allowed to stick their head and shoulders out the window of a moving vehicle? Nope! The wind can affect their mucous membranes, leading to irritation. What’s worse, airborne debris can become lodged in their eyes, ears, or skin. Ouch!

They may also become so entranced by something they see in passing (did someone say squirrel?) that an unrestrained pet might leap out of the window in hot pursuit. As a friendly reminder, be sure that they’re always wearing ID tags, and have an up-to-date microchip

Truck beds are not ideal places for pets, unless they are comfortably relaxing inside their secured crate. 

Safety First, Always

Lastly, it is never a good idea to leave your pet unattended in a parked vehicle. Even if you’re only gone for a few minutes and your car is parked in the shade, they can still quickly fall victim to the effects of heat stroke. 
If you have further questions about driving with your pet, give the Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates a call at (248) 646–5655.