If you’re like many people, you’ve been looking forward to the unofficial start of summer -- Memorial Day weekend! Will you be traveling with your dogs for Memorial Day? That weekend is a high travel, high traffic time on the roadways; if you’re traveling with your dogs you need to make certain he is safe when he’s along for the ride.
How can you keep your dog safe on a Memorial Day, or any other, road trip? Here are our best safety tips for pet parents:
It’s estimated that close to 40 million people will be hitting the road this Memorial Day weekend – many of them with their dogs. Keep in mind that even if you’re looking forward to a road trip, your pay may feel anxious; take steps to make sure he’s as comfortable as can be on this, or any, road trip.
Never drive with your dog on your lap. This is a safety issue for both you and your dog. If you get into an accident, he could be badly injured by the deployment of the airbag. Also, if he is jumping around, he could impede your ability to properly steer the vehicle. Your dog should be safely harnessed into a seat (preferably the back seat). If he won’t wear a harness, he should be in a carrier. This is a protective measure for both you and your pet.
Never let your dog hang his head out the window. Sure, it looks like fun when you see your dog’s ears flapping in the breeze, but he could debris in his eyes. Also, if the window is open too far he could very easily fall out of the moving vehicle. Again, put him in a harness or a carrier for safety’s sake.
If your dog isn’t accustomed to riding in the car, it makes sense to start off with short, local trips to get him accustomed to it. Get him accustomed to being in the carrier or the harness on these short trips.
Keep to his regular mealtimes, but don’t feed him before you head off on your road trip. Many dogs get car sick and feeding him prior to the trip may lead to vomit in the car.
Plan frequent stops. Excitement or anxiety may make your dog need to go to the bathroom more frequently. Plan for frequent roadside stops. Look for rest stops where it’s safe to pull off the freeway to let him do his business. Don’t forget to clean up after your pet.
Never leave your pet alone in the car. It only takes a few minutes for a car to heat up to more than 100 degrees and your dog could potentially succumb to the heat. If you’re traveling alone, know where you can stop and take your dog in with you. If you’re traveling with others, take turns sitting in the car with the dog(s).
Pack a doggie travel bag. Bring his favorite toys, blanket, food, water from home or bottled water, any medications he needs, tweezers to remove ticks, dog-friendly sunblock. Bring your dog’s medical records and know where the closest veterinarian is.
Keep his collar on and have identification tags on the collar. Even if your pet is microchipped, he should be wearing a collar with identification tags that have your cell phone number on it.
What pet travel safety tips can you share with our readers?
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GIVING BACK: During National Pet Month, which is May, Zoopar is donating 20% of profits of sales to Freedom Service Dogs of America, an organization that works with shelter dogs to train them to work as service dogs.
Zoopar has an unwavering commitment to pets and their pet parents. “It’s our mission to unleash a sense of adventure and curiosity we share with our four-legged companions,” Zoopar CEO Howard Liu said.