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Pet Travel Safety: Make Sure Your Pet Buckles Up

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Recently, I was talking to my brother about pet travel with his dog. He said the dog (a Pomeranian) sits on his lap while he drives. Upon hearing this, I cautioned him about the dangers of not having the dog restrained while driving. The caution about wearing seat belts while we’re driving has been around for years.  When it comes to pet travel safety, the same rules should apply. Pets also need to be restrained while traveling to prevent injury.

Pet Travel Dangers

I often see dog owners, especially those with small dogs, allowing the dog to sit on their lap between them and the steering wheel.  If a collision happened, the dog would be crushed either by the impact, or by the airbag inflating.  Either way, it’s not a pretty picture.

Another thing I see often is a small dog standing on his owner’s shoulder while the dog looks out the window.  Yes, dogs love this, but it’s also very dangerous!  If the owner had to make a quick stop, the dog would go flying through the air.  Serious injury for the dog, and most probably for the owner as well.

Many areas, including ours, have road construction underway, and flying debris could easily injure a dog enjoying the breeze.

Riding in the back of pick-up trucks can be very dangerous for dogs.  Again, they love it because they can feel the breeze and look around as they’re riding. In the event of a quick stop or rear end collision, a dog could go flying out of the truck.  Definitely not good!

Pet Travel Safety Gear

Pet travel safety gear has become a law in many areas, with the “click it or ticket” practice in effect.

There are many seat belt type options available, one I like is the Seatbelt Loop Tether Car Restraint.

This restraint gives dogs a chance to roam a very little bit, but will keep them from being hurdled through the air in the event of a collision.

Another option I like is the Ultimate Travel Harness. It’s made especially for small dogs (sizes begin for dogs 3.5 lbs), been safety tested, and made of recycled plastic bottles. This works for walking your dog, so works with bolster seats (with restraint clip) or another restraint such as the Kurgo tether mentioned above if you aren’t using a seat for your dog.

There are a wide variety of harnesses and car seats available in sizes to fit the smallest to the tallest dog.  For smaller dogs that have trouble seeing out of the window, bolster seats work well.

Cat Travel Options

Although cats aren’t usually very fond of travel, they need to be secured for safety, even if it’s a short trip to the vet or groomer.

It’s important to ensure the carrier you select for your cat is comfortable and escape-free. My favorite carrier is the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed. Although this carrier is pricier than many on the market, the company puts extra emphasis on product safety.

The bed is round, so cats feel secure in it, similar to a pet bed. There are many options available for your cat to see out, with substantial netting that won’t be easily damaged by cat nails.

Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed is easily secured using your vehicle seat belt.

Conclusion

The pet travel safety options I mentioned in this post are available from Petmate.com and other pet supply retailers.

There are numerous pet travel safety options available.  Shop around and find the one the works best for you and your dog. It’s fun to travel with your pet, but make sure you and your dog buckle up for safety!

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