Driving With Dogs: Safety & Tips


driving with dogs


Traveling with your dog can be a lot of fun. It’s nice to have company for a long ride and many dogs really enjoy going for a drive. Nowadays there are many pet friendly hotels to stay in when on the road. Major roadways often have rest areas with grassy places to walk your dog. Just be sure you clean up after your pet. Responsible pet owners make it easier for everyone to travel with their pet and reduce prejudices against dogs.

There are a few important safety rules you should follow when driving with dogs. Your dog should never ride loose in the car. It can lead to tragic and avoidable accidents. When driving, your attention needs to be on the road and the traffic around you. A wandering dog is a distraction. A dog that is pawing at your arm while driving is even worse. A loose dog is also at risk if you have to slam on your brakes or are in a traffic accident. With nothing to keep him on the seat and far less body mass than you, a dog can easily fly into (and through) a windshield.

There a few different options when it comes to safely driving with your dog. The most common choice is crating your dog. Provided you have a big enough vehicle to accommodate a crate suitable to your dog`s size, there are a number of pluses to using a kennel. Not only is your dog safely contained in the case of an accident but the crate can also help protect him from other flying objects within the car if it should roll or be struck by another vehicle. For longer tricks you can hang at water bucket in the crate. You can also use a wet mat on hotter days to make it cooler for your dog. Both fibreglass and metal crates work equally well when travelling by car.

You can also use a seatbelt designed for driving with dogs. This allows your dog to sit on the front seat beside you and works well provided that you have a reasonably well trained dog that enjoys car travel. While the seatbelt does not protect your dog from other objects within the vehicle, it will keep him safely in his seat in case of an accident.

If using a seatbelt, you can crack the window a bit to allow your dog to enjoy all the smells from outside. Do not allow your dog to put his whole head out the window. Flying debris can cause serious damage to eyes at the speeds used in vehicles. Even small items like pebbles off a truck bed or grains of sand can cause serious irritation and problems if they land in your dog’s eye.

On hot days, it is always wiser to leave your dog at home if you have to run errands. Vehicles can heat up very quickly to extreme temperatures on hot days. Your dog may love your company but he will be happier and safer at home. Heat stroke can be fatal and can happen very very quickly when the temperature is high.

Travel safely and enjoy the company!