From day trips to long vacations, dogs love riding in the car. Here are the rules you should follow when loading up your four-legged friend into the car and hitting the open road.

Buckle Your Belts

The pet experts from the website Whole Dog Journal recommend buckling up your four-legged buddy in the backseat with a trusted dog-friendly harness seat belt instead of using a crate. Restraints such as the Doggie Catcher pet seat belt earned a four-paw rating. Made by Smiling Dog Enterprises, the canine harness attaches to your car’s seat belt. It provides maximum safety and keeps your pet from sliding around in the backseat.

Travel and Dog Safety
Whole Dog Journal suggests the Kwik Klip Car Harness. Available in sizes from small to extra large, this safety belt keeps your pet secure during all of your travels together.

Keep Cool in the Heat

Sadly, hundreds of pets die each year from heat exhaustion because they are left alone in hot cars. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the temperature of a car rises by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. This means your car quickly reaches a temperature that’s unsafe for your pet. If you’re a responsible pet owner, you already know the dangers of heat exhaustion and you take preventative measures to keep your pet safe. However, during summertime travel, it is even more important to pay attention to your pet in the heat of the day.

Choose a car that is equipped with power windows, A/C and other tech features that keep everyone in the cabin comfortable and cool. DriveTime offers thousands of used cars, including pickups, SUVs, sporty convertibles and the ever-practical and dog-friendly minivan.

Second Guess Shotgun

Even if Fido loves the front seat, you should keep him out of harm’s way by safely securing him in the backseat. With your dog in the backseat of your car, you’ll be able to drive distraction-free. It’s also safer for your pet to ride in the back, especially in the event of a collision. After choosing a pet friendly vehicle, Consumer Reports suggests utilizing pet accessories like crates, barriers, harnesses and travel beds to keep your pet safe on the ride.

Keep Some Kibbles

You should keep a handy kit of emergency supplies in your car. It should include essentials like flashlights, emergency supplies, water and food. If you’re planning a long trip with your pet, or if your dog frequently travels with you in the car, add some kibbles, extra water and dishes to your kit to keep your dog hydrated and fed in case of an emergency. You also may want to bring a toy for your dog to chew on to relieve stress. Be sure to seal up the dog food to keep it fresh and protected from moisture, pests and spoilage.

Have Vet Info

When traveling it’s crucial to have your pet’s medical history records packed away. Whether you store them in a file in your backseat or stuff them in your glove box, keeping these important files on hand can be critical if your pet gets sick during travel.

Filed under: Relocating and/or Traveling With Your Dog

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