Like many pooches, your pup adores riding in the car with you. Whether you’re heading out on a road trip or merely running some errands in town, you also love having your four-legged bestie along for the adventure.
Check out the following tips to keep your best pal as safe as possible on the open road.
1. Invest in a Doggy Restraint System
Much like you prioritize wearing a seatbelt — hopefully for your kids, too — you also want to make sure Fido is safely restrained before putting your car in reverse. Indeed, don’t let your dog go unharnessed and suffer an injury.
According to PetMD, when you get in an accident with an unrestrained dog, they can incur broken bones, punctured lungs and other serious injuries. To prevent this altogether, purchase a restraint of some kind to keep your dog safe and secure. You can find canine seatbelts at any local or online pet store.
For example, the website for Doctors Foster and Smith carries vehicle safety harnesses in a number of sizes for about $25 each. So if you’re heading out on a long trip with your dog, you might want to test drive the harness first, allowing you to practice safely strapping your dog in as they get used to the idea of wearing it.
2. Keep Your Car in Tip-Top Shape
Getting a flat tire on your way to Starbucks with your pup for a latte and “puppaccino” is stressful enough; having car trouble in the middle of nowhere is even worse. To prevent this from happening, follow your car’s regular maintenance schedule by getting regular oil changes and tune-ups. Also, keep a close eye on your tires to ensure they’re in good, working condition.
To evaluate your tires for baldness, use a penny or a quarter to determine each tire’s remaining tread depth. Simply insert a penny into the tire treads on all four tires, with Honest Abe’s head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires are at 2/32nds of an inch or less of tread and should be replaced immediately.
3. Don’t Let Fido Stick His Head Out the Window
We’ve all seen it: Carefree, happy-looking dogs sticking their heads out of the car window. Despite the joys it may bring Fido, it’s definitely not a safe activity. Of course, road debris and any number of other things can fly up and hit your dog in the face, and if they spot a small animal (squirrel!), they may very well try to jump out, leading to serious injuries or death.
Have Fun, and be Sure to Send a Postcard
Despite these and other safety warnings, it’s definitely fine to bring your pooch with you on driving trips. But by incorporating these tips into your routine, your time together running errands and going on vacation will not only be fun, but it will also be safe for your beautiful dog.