Recently there was news of a local car accident in which a veteran was injured and his service dog
escaped from the damaged vehicle. It took close to a week but the dog was returned to its master and is now safely home. This potential tragedy might have been able to be prevented if the owner of the dog had taken precautions to keep his pet safe.
Here are some road safety rules you need to keep in mind when traveling with your pet:
- Don't travel with your pet running loose in the vehicle. Henrietta is always strapped into her pet seatbelt regardless of the length of the road trip we're on. If there's an accident and I can't take care of her or grab her, I trust that her seatbelt will not only keep her safe but will also keep her contained. You can purchase pet travel carriers or other devices to keep the pet safe.
- Visit your vet if you're taking a long road trip. Make certain your pet is healthy enough to travel and if your pet needs his vaccinations updated, do it before you leave. Also, ask your vet for a print out of your pet's health history and record of vaccinations.
- If you're traveling with a cat, she should be in a cat carrier and you may also want to have her microchipped before you leave. In the event she gets loose, the microchip may help you get her back. Also, bring a litter box and stop frequently to let your cat relieve herself. Traveling with a cat, in my opinion is much harder than with a dog, but it could be because I am not accustomed to the call of nature breaks for a cat.
- Speaking of answering nature's call. Stop frequently to let your dog relieve herself and stretch her legs. Given a chance to get out and frolic will make for a calmer dog when you're driving along.
- Check ahead for pet-friendly accommodations and stop at an early hour. Give your pets a chance to unwind before you head out the next morning. And don't forget to bring items from home that will bring your pets comfort — a favorite toy or blanket or food dish.