Traveling safely is the first step to a great vacation. Having your first aid kit tucked alongside your auto emergency pack ensures your family is prepared for any setback while on the road. But getting there safely starts with buckling up.
You wouldn’t dream of placing your child in the car without a seat belt or letting them run around in the back of a pick up truck as you drive off for the family trip.
These days, pets get out on the road as much as the family for short trips to the park and long venture to vacation destinations. Unfortunately, pets can be thrown in the car without half of the consideration we would administer to our children. This kind of negligence may not only be dangerous to your pet, but also the rest of the family—including the driver.
Drive smart and safe this summer by choosing a click, crate or carrier option for your four-legged friends.
Click: Start your pet travel safety plan by visiting your pet store and asking about the various restraints. Harnesses come in all shapes, sizes, padding and colors and should be properly fitted by a trained store representative. Many of them can be customized to attach to seatbelts and allow for some range of motion, but not so much as to become tangled or a choking hazard.
Crate: While driving, especially when exploring uneven terrains or facing inclement weather, restraining your pet with a secured crate will prevent them from being jostled in hazardous conditions. Pet restraints of this kind also protect children and other passengers from an agitated or suddenly ill pet. Additionally, if the pet roams about in a moving vehicle, this can distract the driver from their first priority, navigating a safe passage.
Carrier: Another option is a well-ventilated carrier. If riding on a train or bus, a carrier is most likely required and will protect them against jostling luggage and bumpy terrain. Carriers also provide a safe haven for your pets, a secure and familiar place where they feel comfortable during the trip and when sleeping away from home. An animal that is familiar with the carrier will feel less anxious when inside, especially when blankets and a favorite toy is placed inside to provide comfort.
Using your choice of safety protection in advance of a longer trip can help your pet become comfortable with click, crate or carrier. Most importantly before you make any purchase, consult with your veterinarian on the safest and user-friendliest product designed specifically for your pet’s weight, breed and health considerations. Your veterinarian can also provide you with any necessary prescriptions, anti-anxiety medication, vitamins and nutritional supplements so your pet stays safe and healthy while on the road.
Kim Monaghan, PCC, RYT, CPBS is the owner of KBM Coaching & Consulting LLC, a boutique Human Resources Consulting and Career Coaching Firm serving a national clientele.