The Pet Car Safety Essentials

The Pet Car Safety Essentials

Car journeys often mean one of two things for pets – a trip to the vet or a far more appealing trip for playtime. Whatever the final destination, it’s crucial that you take all the necessary precautions for the journey there to ensure both you and your pet can arrive safely and relatively stress free.

There are so many extra things to consider and prepare for when traveling with a pet passenger, particularly for long journeys. In this article, we’ll run through some of the key safety essentials you should be aware of when carrying an animal companion in tow.

Avoiding distractions

One of the most prevalent safety risks associated with traveling with a pet is the increased likelihood of the driver becoming distracted. This is one area you’ll have to pay particular attention to, since being distracted while driving can be dangerous for everyone sharing the road.

There are lots of ways you can avoid becoming distracted by a pet. The simplest way is to keep them in the back, rather than upfront in the passenger seat – however tempting it may be. You’ll probably to want to play with them or glance across when your pet is sitting next to you, so be sure to avoid this whenever possible.

Another effective solution is to keep your pet in a carrier while traveling. It may be difficult to find one big enough for larger dogs, but most canines and cats will fit comfortably in standard carriers, giving you peace of mind during the drive.

Keep the windows up

While all other drivers will no doubt share in your glee at seeing a dog hang their head out the window as you drive along, this presents lots of obvious and easily avoidable safety risks. Firstly, it goes back to the previous point of avoiding distractions. It’ll be easy for you and other drivers to become distracted by the sight of a cute dog delighting in the wind blowing in its face, but this can draw eyes away from the road.

For the dog itself, there’s the obvious risk of it either falling or jumping out through an open window. There’s also the chance of something hitting the dog if it’s unable to react in time to a building, sign or anything else that comes close to the side of the car. A final thing you may not have considered is that dogs are more prone to contract diseases or infections when hanging their head out the window, with dirt and dust more likely to enter their eyes or mouth.

Make sure you have the necessary accessories

There are so many accessories on the market that make traveling with a pet safer and easier for everyone involved, but you also need to remember to pack the essential items. It can be handy to devise a pet owner’s equipment checklist for long car journeys. The list will include basic items such as water, medication and toys, along with anything that could help protect your car or pet, such as seat covers and anti-anxiety remedies.

By having this list in place, you can be sure that you have everything your pet needs, every time.


At Pampered Pet Resorts, we're dedicated to the comfort and safety of every pampered pet, and adopting proper car safety is just one way of protecting them from harm. Check out our article, "Are You Prepared for Pet Medical Emergencies?" for more pet safety tips!


Original article provided by Colin Peirce Consulting.