More so than ever, a pet is now a part of the family.
Many take their four-legged friends everywhere with them wherever they go – whether that be a day trip out, to see the family or on holiday.
But just like you wouldn’t compromise the safety of a child while they’re travelling in a vehicle, you shouldn’t with a pet, either. Here are some top tips to allow you and your pet to travel safely.
Make sure your pet is comfortable with your car
You should never just put your pet (particularly a dog) in a car and set off, particularly if they’re not used to being in a vehicle or if it’s a different car or van to normal. Before setting off, you should familiarise them with the vehicle, by putting them and securing them in the boot, and making sure they’re happy.
After this, you should only do smaller trips, and avoid longer jaunts until they’re familiar with travelling in the car.
Regular breaks are also important, and you should try and avoid leaving the pet in the car on its own – especially in the summer months or on a hot day, as this can be fatal in high temperatures. Make sure to have adequate supplies on you too, such as water, treats and food. Always take the lead with you too so you can go for a walk either halfway through or at the end of the journey, and don’t forget to carry doggy bags too.
Secure your pet
Making sure your pet is securely fastened in the vehicle is absolutely paramount. For a cat, a dedicated carrier is the best option, and make sure it’s big enough for them to be able to comfortably move around and lie down. Make sure the carrier is securely fastened, and then secured in the car, either by being tied down or fastened with a seatbelt.
When it comes to a dog, a dedicated crate in the boot that’s securely fastened is a great option. Again, this needs to offer enough room, and allow for a comfortable amount of space. If you don’t want a crate in the car, you should get a harness and seatbelt to securely strap your dog in.
It’s worth investing in a dog barrier as well, which is a metal frame installed between the rear seats and boot and will prevent a pet from trying to escape into the passenger area of the vehicle.
Don’t compromise your own safety
As well as making sure your pet is safe and secure, you shouldn’t forget about your own wellbeing in the car too.
If a dog is proving to be a distraction while you’re driving, it can be particularly dangerous. It’s why it’s important to have them securely fastened so they can’t be jumping around the interior while you’re on the move.