As we prepare for a Thanksgiving feast next week, many families will find themselves on the road travelling to spend time with family and friends. For families traveling with pets, though, there are certain dangers for four-legged companions to keep in mind this holiday season.
Loose pets inside of vehicles can become a dangerous distraction for drivers. Moreover, unrestrained pets can become hazards themselves during an accident. Without proper restraint, even a simple joyride with your four-legged friend could result in harsh consequences for everyone.
To help ensure that you (and your pets!) arrive safely after your Thanksgiving road trip, American Humane is offering a few important pet safety tips:
- To avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety, work your pet up to longer trips by taking shorter treks before taking on a long expedition.
- In case you and your pet become separated, be sure that all ID tags are properly affixed to your pet’s collar and that they have your current contact information, including cell number(s).
- Update your microchip registration and pet license information to ensure its current and consider including the name and phone number of an emergency contact.
- Never leave pets unattended inside of vehicles.
- Properly restrain, contain or crate your pets inside of your vehicle prior to your trip. Consider purchasing a specially-designed pet seat belt, carrier or barrier to avoid irreversible consequences due to distractions or other mishaps.
- Never allow pets to sit on your lap or remain in the front seat while you drive.
- Never allow pets to stick any portion of their bodies out the window. Although most dogs love to stick their heads out open windows, the wind can seriously irritate mucous membranes and blow pieces of grit or other debris into their eyes. Pets could also be seriously injured by objects as you drive down the road.
- Pets should never be transported in the bed of a pickup truck. Not only can your pets injure themselves, but they can also cause an accident which may harm someone else.
- Do not leash your pet inside of a truck bed even when parked to avoid strangulation hazards and because open truck beds do not provide any protection from the weather.
Keeping pets safe is every pet owner’s responsibility… and being a safe driver is not only your obligation — it’s the law. From all of us at American Humane, we’re wishing your family and it’s four-legged members a safe and happy Thanksgiving!