That’s How I Roll

Proper dog care when going on trips with your dog

Dogs are indeed some of the best companions, which is why we tend to take them with us everywhere we go. Whether we’re driving to the store or heading across the country, having our friend there to keep us company is always a great comfort.

But despite the characteristics, little trips or long journeys, there is always the concern of keeping you and your pup safe during these adventures. The road can often be unpredictable, especially with the winter weather approaching. So, it’s up to us as loving dog owners to keep our pets safe from all dangers.

Keeping it fastened

Consider the endurance trip. You’re out for a long ride, which can be stressful on your dog who is constantly crated up. You might think they’ll be okay sitting in the back cargo area or lying in the back seat, but the truth is, free-roam can be dangerous. In the case of an accident or abrupt stop, they can become a projectile in an accident, injuring themselves or others.

And though we humans are accommodated with seatbelts, those are not always enough to keep a dog safe and secure. Safety harnesses are growing in popularity and versatility. Some target comfort, while others focus on a technical approach. It’s important to be sure your dog is comfortable in them, but you also need to be sure that they are going to be safe as well. Not all dog safety harnesses are designed equally and there are no rules or guidelines to regulate their safety or security.

In some cases, it may be necessary to locate a harness composed of a stronger material- like leather or chain. Dogs can quickly chew through cloth or nylon, especially if they don’t want to be held down. Utilizing a sturdier safety device is the best solution, though using a chew-deterrent could also help for puppies who enjoy nibbling on everything.

The ultimate goal is to keep them safely secured in their seats. This means that you don’t want them falling into the foot-well and getting injured. Be sure that your harness holds your dog to the seat and doesn’t just attach them to a location. Vehicle safety devices are designed to work together, so be sure that both areas are incorporated into the harnesses design (some will attach to opposite sides of the vehicle and may not be as effective). Though they may be harnessed in, that doesn’t mean they can’t slip or slide around the area. In some cases, such as leather seats, things can get slippery or even destroyed. A towel or cushion would provide additional traction during turns and regular driving.

Crates

Then there is the crate, which will definitely keep your dog in place during the trip. Secured in the crate does have its setback for active dogs though. Some may whine and want out, which can be a distraction while driving. Additionally, you will regularly need to let your dog out during long trips so they can stretch their legs and relieve themselves. Don’t neglect the necessities!

Dangers in the vehicle

Perhaps one of the most underestimated dangers of having a dog in the car is the vehicle’s safety devices- primarily the airbags. These are designed for adult humans, not dogs or any other creatures.

This is why it’s especially important that you don’t carry dogs in your lap, even the smaller ones (force multiplies their weight during a sudden stop; a 5 pound dog becomes a thirty pound dog at more than 30 mph impact). Additionally, it’s very dangerous for both you and your dog because if the airbag is deployed, it can crush your dog into your body.

Additionally, there is always the importance of keeping your dog from being a distraction to you while driving. If they’re harnessed or crated in, they won’t pace between seats. This is a big issue with more active dogs who rarely stay still longer than a second. The open scenery can be enjoyable for the dog, but the distraction they present when trying to spot a critter moving around in the bushes or a bird flying in the sky can distract you very easily. Be sure that you keep them safe and secure before you decide to travel.

Whether you’re taking a short trip to the market or a long trip to a new destination, it’s important that you keep everyone in your vehicle safe. Dogs enjoy going with you wherever you are, but they can only truly enjoy it if everyone makes it there safely.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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