Top Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe in the Car

Top Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe in the Car
| By: Christian Brothers Automotive

If you’re like most people, your furry friend is just as important as any other member of your family. This means your beloved pet will likely find their way into your car with you at some point, whether it’s for a quick trip to the vet or dog park, or on a longer road trip or vacation. You love your pet, and want them to be happy and comfortable while on the road, but did you know that thousands of pets are injured or die each year due to auto accidents? Understanding proper car safety for your pet is important, and can even save their life. In this blog, we dive into the top five car safety tips for dogs and cats.

Pets Causing Driving Accidents

Behind children and cell phones, animals moving around while a car is in motion is the third biggest distraction to drivers.Think about it this way: if your pup or cat is moving from the back seat to the front seat to your lap and back again while you’re trying to pay attention to the road, of course you’ll be more distracted than if you were in the car alone.

Top Five Car Safety Tips for Dogs and Cats

#1: Buckle Them Up or Keep Them in a Well-Ventilated Carrier: Even for just a quick ride, you should always buckle your dog into a seatbelt restraint. These harnesses click right into your vehicle’s belt buckle or strap. Check with your veterinarian or do some research to find the right harness for your dog’s weight and body type, as a properly fitting harness will keep your pup safe and comfortable while in the car. You are also armed with choices to help your best friend remain at ease during travel. While some harnesses only allow your pet to sit up, others provide your pet with more range to turn around and lie down, which may be better for trips where they’re in the car for longer times.

For smaller dogs and cats, keep them restrained in a well-ventilated carrier. The safest carriers are made of plastic, and should be placed on the floor of the back seat if possible.

#2: The Safest Place For Your Animals is the Backseat: Airbags were designed with human safety in mind, not your pet’s. This means the safest place for your dog or cat is in the backseat. A deployed airbag could crush or injure a smaller dog or cat, and can sever the lingual artery in a larger dog’s tongue, leading to fatal blood loss. Even in a carrier, your pets aren’t safe in the front seat, as airbags can destroy some crates and carriers on impact. Keep your furry friends safe while on the road by buckling them into the back middle seat or placing their carrier on the floor behind the driver or passenger seat.

Furthermore, you should never have your pet ride unrestrained in the back of a truck. Having your pup ride in the bed of a truck not only puts your pet in harm’s way in case of an accident, but you also run the risk of escape or injury due to the bed’s uneven surface.

#3 Never Leave Your Dog Unattended in Your Vehicle: Even if you’re running into the store for just a few minutes, or you’re just going inside to use the restroom, never leave your pet unattended inside of your vehicle. Despite mild temperatures and rolled down windows, cars can get extremely hot very quickly. Leaving your pet in the car can result in brain damage, organ failure or death.

#4 Prepare Your Pet for a Trip: If you’re embarking on a long trip, you can help your pets be more comfortable by slowly introducing them to car rides, with short trips within your neighborhood before setting off on your trip. It’s also a good idea to have a pet-travel kit ready to go with the following supplies:

  • Food
  • Bowl
  • Leash
  • Waste Scoop
  • Medication
  • Vaccination Records (Copy)
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Litter Box (Cats)

You can even bring along your pet’s favorite toy or blanket to help them feel more comfortable. When it comes to travel-day, feed your pet at least four hours before the trip to avoid nausea.

#5 Have Identification for Your Pet: Travelling is a stressful situation for most animals. In case of escape, having easily-identifiable markers on your pet is the best way to help them get back to you if they get loose. Micro-chipping is the safest form of identification, and is a simple procedure that your vet can do before your trip. You should also have a collar with your cell phone number and the pet’s name, to ensure they can be easily returned to you if someone else finds them.

Keep your vehicle safe for you, your family & pet with Christian Brothers Automotive

It started in 1982, when we redefined service with our commitment to loving our neighbors as ourselves. When we began franchising a few years later, we developed a business model with one thing in mind: putting our guests first, which means for the past 35 years, across over 200 locations, our standard of service hasn’t wavered. We’ve pioneered free shuttle service, educational estimates, and a warm, comfortable shop atmosphere, all centered around helping you get where you need to go. We understand how important your vehicle is to your daily life, and that it also protects you and the ones you love most. At Christian Brothers Automotive, your safety is our top priority. Contact your nearest location to schedule an appointment today.

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