Traveling Safely with Pets

by Lara Latshaw

As warmer weather inspires more frequent extended trips and adventures, now is a great time to consider traveling safely with pets. It’s a topic many people don’t think twice about. In fact, I didn’t think about it much until I became a Pet Tech CPR/First Aid Instructor, and this is something that’s covered by Pet Tech. Prior to that, the only time I crated dogs in my car was when I was traveling with so many it was necessary to crate them.

In all reality, it is important for the pet’s and owner’s safety for a pet to be in a crate or seat harness any time they’re traveling in the car. The obvious issue is if there’s an accident a pet can become a projectile and go right into — or through — a windshield.  Something most don’t consider is that a pet flying through the car during an accident could actually kill a person in the car by hitting them in the head. It is also important when using crates in cars to have them secured within the car so if there is an accident the crate doesn’t fly into the front seat or around the back.

Another potential danger is if a dog or cat gets under the brake. The driver in this situation is in a horrible spot. You can imagine all the possible scenarios!

Also, if you are in an accident, it is not the paramedics job to contain your pet. Often when pets are loose in the car they are let out when first responders get to the scene to assist the accident victim. Sometimes protective dogs will also prevent first responders from helping the accident victim.  If your dog or cat is secure it has a far better chance of being attended to once the accident victim has been cared for.

Though it looks like a lot of fun, letting dogs hang their heads out of windows also is a hazard. At minimum, your dog could get something in their eye. More devastating injuries occur when pets decide to jump out of windows. If your pet is secured, you also won’t have to worry about them getting out a door and bolting away or directly into traffic when you make a stop.

Simply put, keeping pets secured helps keep them safe.

Recommended products

• A good car harness made by AKC is the “American Kennel Club 2-in1 Seatbelt Harness”. There are many different manufacturers.

• Gordon’s Grooming carries Clix attachments in our Retail Department which connect to a pet’s harness or collar and snap into existing seat belts.

• Crating pets is another good option. Impact Crates and Ruff Crates are considered the best available.

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