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What's The Safest Way To Transport A Dog In A Car?

Are you aware of the rules that regulate pet travel in cars? This may come as a surprise but in states like New Jersey in the US police can stop and fine a driver if they find them to have breached the rules for transporting a pet in a car. The fines range anywhere between $250 and $1,000.

Additionally, in most states if you crash your vehicle because of carrying a pet, this is considered to be a violation covered under distracted driving laws. So clearly it pays to know how to transport your dog in the correct way.

Below are tips on how best to carry your favorite pet:

Use crash-tested crates

These should be safety-certified crates preferably made of aluminum and plastic reinforced with fiberglass – materials which are considered to be more durable. The crates should also be of the right size for your dog and have good air circulation. You may also place crash bags inside the crate for extra protection in case of emergency breaking.

Include resting intervals during the journey

Just like travelling with kids, when taking your dog on a road trip it’s important to consider their needs. Include in your schedule a stop every two or three hours to let them out so that they can stretch their legs and answer nature’s call. You will find the break a welcome relief for yourself and your dog. Make sure you keep an eye out for what foods they forage for at the rest stops. This site has a guide to what they can eat to bear in mind.

Disable the power windows and use child lock mechanisms

If your car has power windows, your dog can inadvertently open them by simply pressing them with their paw. He could also open the door. As a safety precaution it’s prudent to disable both of these to avoid your dog jumping out of the moving vehicle or choking after having his neck trapped by a moving window – something that’s been known to happen to some pet owners. Using a dog restraint is a welcome idea.

Carry some water

Dogs need to drink water regularly, and the longer your road trip is, the more important it is to carry water with you. However, even if it’s just a short trip to the store, it’s still wise to bring along some water as a precaution. One way to ensure you always have water on hand is to keep a bottle in the car as part of your emergency kit.

Last but not least: NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR IN WARM WEATHER or drive with him on your lap.