Best Rules for Safe Car Travel With Pets and Why To Use Crates For Dogs or Cats

Best Rules for Safe Car Travel With Pets and Why To Use Crates For Dogs or Cats

As I thought about this article, I realized that a collection of hints was insufficient to convey a very important lesson I’ve learned over the years of being a pet-parent. Travel with your pet can be challenging. There’s no nice way to put this. Our pets love us unconditionally and rely on us to take the best care of them we possibly can. The personal lesson described below is why I put so much emphasis on pet safety while traveling.

A while ago, I was transporting my cats as my home was being repaired. Being cats, they decided to get into a fur-flying, yowling cat fight while we were driving along the highway. Needless to say, the commotion was unbelievably distracting. So much so, that I came very close to rear-ending the vehicle that had unexpectedly stopped in front of me. Thankfully, that did not happen. But the cats couldn’t understand why I fussed at them and they couldn’t understand how fortunate we were to missed being in an avoidable accident or escaped terrible injury.

Rather than neatly arranging my topics in easy-to-follow bullets, I thought I’d lay them out in terms strong enough that anyone as headstrong as me could grasp their significance. Therefore, this article has three sections. First, we’ll cover the Never-Do-These section. Second, we’ll cover the Always-Do-These section. And third, we’ll cover the Please-Think-About-These section.

Okay, let’s begin with the Never List:

– Never allow your pet to ride unrestrained in your car or truck. You do not want your pets to become projectiles. Our pet’s bodies are resilient but not indestructible.

– Never use a soft enclosure, such as a cardboard box or pet tent if you have access to a wire or sturdy crate. Soft carriers have their place, but for maximum protection, it’s best to have the sturdiest crate you have access to, even if you borrow one.

– Never allow pets to hang out vehicle windows. Even if your pup loves to feel the wind in his face, this isn’t a wise thing to do. His or her face may collide with an immovable object at 50, 60, or 70 miles per hour.

– Never leave any animal in a hot car. Leaving pets in a hot car for just ten minutes could cause irreparable injury. Dogs do not sweat and can’t cool off without air and water.

– Never transport a pet without a collar, leash, and extra identification, such as your cell phone number on an extra tag.

Now, here are the Always Reminders:

– Always get your pet used to the car with short, fun trips.

– Always use a leash when putting your pet into or out of a crate or carrier.

– Always use seat belts or cords to secure a crate in a back seat or truck bed.

– Always keep a good supply of your pets regular food ready to take along. If you are unexpectedly detained, a change in diet could be very hard on your pet. Also, water from home in a gallon container is a good idea.

Finally, here is the Sometimes section:

– Sometimes your cat will display their escape artist skills if in a cardboard carrier; so invest in a sturdy carrier. You’ll save time and upholstery.

– Sometimes a dog or cat will experience motion sickness, so be prepared with paper and regular towels. If your pet experiences severe bouts of motion sickness, check with your veterinarian about which medication may be best for your cat or dog.

– Sometimes no matter how well you plan, your return home may be delayed. It’s a good idea to keep copies of pet vaccinations with you in case boarding becomes necessary.

– Sometimes the unexpected car repair might mean summoning a tow-truck. Ask about their policies before they arrive to assist you. Have a secure harness or collar and leash ready, in case your crate will not fit in the cab of the tow vehicle.

Should this article sound like doggie-owner marching orders, know that my intention is not to offend the reader. I am adamant about these pointers because of my own experiences. The time saved by leaving a crate at home can never replace a beloved pet. Should your pet get loose or become distracting to you while driving, the result could be disastrous. My own most common excuse has always been – Well, it’s just a short trip. Does that ring a bell?

Because we all need the unconditional love only our pets can give, and because they depend on us for safe travel, please consider investing in a sturdy, well-built travel crate for your dog or cat. Then, please don’t leave it at home. And yes, I’m listening.