Okay, I admit it. I’m somewhat of a lucky ShednPooper. My human drives a convertible, which is kind of awesome. Tasting the wind at 60 mph and letting the drool fly is one of life’s simple pleasures. Though lately, I’ve tried to set a better example for my kids, Ally and Oliver, by going with the safety-first credo during short drives and holiday road trips. Check them out below.
Buckle up, Buttercup
Humans are accustomed to buckling their belts when they get in the car, but a lot of them don’t realize it’s just as important to safely restrain their dog, reports Travel + Leisure.
According to Bark-Buckle UP, a pet safety advocacy group: If a car is traveling at 30 mph and has an accident, a 60-pound dog will crash into the windshield, front seat or another passenger with the impact of 2,700 pounds. Obviously, the faster you’re going, the greater the impact, which is bad for everyone in the car. Not to worry, there are some great restraints for dogs of all sizes ranging from harnesses and car seats to safety belts and carriers.
Tips to ensure smooth cruising
Bring your dog’s usual food, according to dogtime.com. A sudden switch can upset your dog’s stomach, which isn’t exactly what you want, especially if things get gassy in closed quarters.
Avoid feeding your dog right before you leave or when you’re on the road. A mutt with a full stomach and a car in motion can be a bad combination. Aim for a mealtime three to four hours before you leave, and if you need to feed him on the road, make a pit stop.
Take dog bedding and toys during road trips. These key items can comfort your dog when his usual routine is disrupted.
Bonus: Tip of the Month
A pet first aid kit is a key item to pack when going on a road trip. It should contain things such as antiseptic cream, assorted bandages, tweezers, eye drops, gauze and tape. Phone numbers for your pet’s vet, the National Animal Poison Control Center hotline (888-426-4435), and emergency pet hospitals in the areas where you plan to travel should be taken along as well.