Updated: Nov 2
If you have a pet, then there is a very high chance that you have gone on a ride or trip that involved you driving in a vehicle with them. Although fun and sometimes necessary, there are some things to keep in mind. Having your pet run a muck or allowing them to have their heads casually out the window actually can be a huge distraction to drivers, not to mention can be very dangerous for your pet. Our accident attorneys love animals and our managing partner Jeremy Dover even has two dogs of his own, which is why we found it extremely important to write this post with tips on how to keep your pets safe on a drive.
Tip #1 Keep your Pet Restrained
We all know that our pets like to be close to us and or wander/explore a new area. But this can be very dangerous both for you and them. While this is not a legal requirement, it is one that can get you pulled over because of the distraction level. A pet that is wandering aimlessly around your car can block you from steering properly or putting the car in the right gears. There is also the issue of your pets safety. If they are sticking their head out the window unrestrained, say you have to break abruptly your pet could go flying out or hit themselves on the front console.
In order to prevent the distractions and danger to your pets, you want to look into a dog seatbelt. There are plenty of options out there. For some smaller, they even offer a hooked chair. You can also have them in a crate on the journey if you feel that is the best option or if the drive is too long.
Tip #2 Go on a shorter trip with them first
If you are planning on going on a longer road trip, we recommend getting your dog used to the car first. If you take them on a shorter trip, it will make them feel more secure and comfortable riding in the vehicle. Not to mention it will also show you how they will behave for the journey or if anything needs to be adjusted for them to feel comfortable and safe as well.
Tip #3: Bring a Travel Bag for those longer journeys
This means ensuring they have food, toys, water, etc. Your dog has things they will need, and it is easier to bring those things your pet is used to for them to feel comfort. Some pets have feelings of anxiety and providing them with a toy or pillow may help them feel better, not to mention they also sell anxiety vests and hemp chews which could also help relax them for the journey.
Tip #4: Plan out your trip
Just like you have to make stops to use the restroom, so do your pets. Therefore, you are going to want to find rest stops where your pet can safely walk around, stretch their legs, and use the restroom. This also would be a good point to feed them and ensure that they are ready for the rest of your journey.
Tip #5: Put down Rubberized Mats and Liners
Due to it being a new space and anxiety, a pet may feel they may not control themselves. They may have an accident or they may have dirty paws which can stain the fabric of your car etc. Laying down a rubberized liner and mat can help prevent your pets from ruining your car's actual material and making clean-up easier.
We hope these tips make it easier for you to drive with a pet and ensure both their and your safety. If you get into an accident with a pet in the vehicle, here’s a few things you’ll want to know. Even if your pet was not injured in the accident, they will be nervous and shaken up. They may even try to run away or flee the scene, try to calm your pet and show them it is ok if possible. It's always best to have your pet sitting in the back seat of your vehicle rather than the front. If this ever happens, call us at 866-954-MORE.
We here at Demesmin and Dover law firm can understand how stressful this time is and with the added passenger of a pet, it can be even more devastating. So make sure you take all the precautions to ensure both you and your pet are safe on the roads.