January 2 was Pet Travel Safety Day and, while we recognize we’re mentioning it after the fact, we definitely think it’s worth bringing awareness to a danger pet owners often underestimate: pets in the car. Not only can they be a major distraction, but they can also become dangerous projectiles in the event of an accident – both of which can be prevented with a little consideration.
Think about how many times you’ve been driving with your dog (or maybe even cat) in the car and they distracted you, even if just for a moment. Now imagine if everyone on the road experienced that just how dangerous of an equation it would become. Not to mention the various ways you and your companion could get seriously hurt in the event of an accident – whether your pet flies forward as the result of a short stop or even gets hit with road debris enjoying the breeze, animals are a bit of a wild card when driving. Even if you’re the most confident driver, you’re still at the whim of others and their potential pet distractions, making this something that all pet owners should become conscious of.
The best (and essentially only) way to prevent injury is to use some kind of restraint, be it a Safety Rider Truck and SUV Safety Restraint, seat leash, crate, or even something to block the passageway from the front and back seats (though we recommend a travel hammock because it also provides a barrier so your pet doesn’t fall on the car floor in the event of a short stop.) For longer trips, be sure to have anything your pet may need to be comfortable like water, food, a leash, freeze dried treats, and even a blanket if they’d like it – because a nervous, uncomfortable pet can widen the margin of distraction.
The last way to ‘honor’ Pet Travel Safety Day is to talk with your pet loving friends about the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of pet restraints in the car. Happy travels!