If you are ever in doubt that cats and dogs are from different planets, a car ride would settle the matter once and for all. Dogs dash to the car at the slightest hint that a trip could be in their immediate future, while the same hint will send cats scurrying in the opposite direction. Whether our passengers are joyful dogs on an outing to the park, or stressed-out cats on their way to the vet for their annual vaccinations, driving safely with pets in the car is an important part of life.
Keep pets in the rear of the car
Pets riding shotgun, or on the driver’s lap, face the same collision risks as babies and children; if an airbag explodes, or the animal is propelled into the dashboard or through the windshield, they can be seriously injured or worse. Part of driving safely with pets in the car means keeping them in the backseat at all times.
Restrain pets in the car
Even if you’ve trained you place (or train) your pets to stay in the backseat, there’s no guarantee that they’ll actually stay there. As for cats, it’s unlikely that you can train them to do anything. A pet that roams around the car, getting under the foot pedals or trying to jump on to your lap, is a distraction that may lead you to the auto body shop and an insurance claim.
Dog seat belts for bigger dogs, or dog safety seats for the little ones, are a great way for your canines to be safe while still being able to see the outside world. A harness seat belt is a better option than a collar seat belt which can hurt a dog’s neck if an emergency stop is necessary.
Cats and other furry companions should always be in a crate on the rear passenger seat, and the crate secured with the rear seat belt.
Keep your car free of clutter
Soda cans, bottles, and other heavy objects can become dangerous projectiles if there’s an accident, and may cause serious injury to your pets and yourself. Keeping your car clutter free is another way of ensuring you are driving safely with pets.
Driving safely with your pets on long-distance car rides
Long distance driving with a pet in the vehicle is different than running down the street to the store. You should:
- Keep plenty of food and water in the car.
- Make a bathroom stop every hour or two for both you and your pet.
- Speak to your vet before you go on a long car trip if you think your cat or dog may need anti-anxiety medication. A crying cat or barking dog on a long road trip is not a happy experience.
One Final Thought
A final part of driving safely with pets in the car is making sure you don’t leave them unattended when you park. A parked car gets unbearably hot, and the chances are that your pet won’t survive the heat. You may think that all will be well because you’ll only be gone a few minutes and that you’ve parked in the shade and cracked the windows, but none of these things will prevent your pet from overheating which could have to tragic consequences.
Driving safely with our pets in the car may cost a bit of money and take a lot of patience, but it may also avoid the need for auto repairs.
Accidents can happen even when you’ve been driving safely. If you are in a crash and need auto repairs, call Orlando Auto Body at 480-351-1734 for a quote and advice.