Safety Fur-st: Travelling Smart With Your Pets

Safety Fur-st Travelling Smart With Your Pets

Americans love our pets. They’re friends and confidantes, and more often than ever we’re taking them on the road. According to a AAA survey, sixty percent of dog owners have taken their pooch for a car ride at least once in the last month. We plan road trips around rest area dog runs, comb the internet for the best outdoor cafes, and choose pet-friendly hotels to keep Puppy with us as much as possible. 

For the majority of pet owners, however, planning stops at spreading a blanket for Fido in the backseat. Thirty percent of drivers admit to letting their pet distract them from the road. One in five keep small animals in their lap while driving. These practices are risky, not just for you but for your pet. If you’re taking Fido on the road, ask yourself a few questions to make sure you’re travelling smart.

Where should my pet sit? Animals, like babies, should never ride in the front seat. While it may be fun to snuggle your puppy on a long drive, the front is the most dangerous place for your pet. A deploying airbag can injure or kill small animals, so keep them in the back seat. Very large dogs might need the extra room in the cargo space. If your dog travels in a kennel, the cargo space on an SUV or crossover is the safest place to put it.
The back of a truck is not safe for dogs. They can jump or fall out, and they have no protection from weather or debris.

Does my dog need a seat belt? A GM-approved safety harness buckled in to the seatbelt connectors keeps dogs in the main cabin from injury during sudden stops or crashes. When using a travel kennel, take the time to strap it down in the cargo area. Otherwise your pet may be thrown- cage and all- during an accident.

How will I keep my dog from distracting me? Dogs are as happy to travel with us as we are to have them, and they’re not shy about showing it. More than twenty percent of drivers have taken a hand off the wheel to keep their pet from climbing into the front seat. Even calm dogs tempt us to reach back and pet them in traffic.

Before you put the car in gear, decide how to handle your pet. If your pet is an excitable traveler, consider using a crate or harness to keep him contained. Make sure there’s nothing nearby that he can get into while your attention is elsewhere.

Do I need any other accessories for pet travel?

Besides a harness or kennel, a cargo organizer is a good investment for people who regularly bring their pets in the car. These keep your pet supplies neatly contained for easy access. Look for one that pulls out or collapses in case you need to make room. Vehicles with rear cooling systems, like the Chevy Traverse, will keep your pet comfortable during the warmer parts of the year. This is especially important for kenneled pets; the cargo area gets a lot of sunlight. If you continually find yourself distracted by your dog, check out the new model GMs and Chevys. Most of them can be equipped with lane departure alarms, front collision avoidance, and stability control features to warn you when you drift off track.

Come visit our Heidebreicht showroom in Macomb County. Our service technicians are available to help you make the decision on the right accessories for your car and pet.

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