Pet Safety on the Roadways
By Kelsie Sandage
In the rush to get from place to place, people always make sure to secure their children to keep them safe in their vehicles, but do people always consider the same amount of safety for the pets they have traveling with them?
In consideration of Child Passenger Safety Week, the veterinarians at BluePearl Veterinary Partners have tips on how to make the car ride safer for everyone on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old and BluePearl veterinarians state that they see numerous pet injuries or fatalities from car accidents as well.
“Pets are members of the family too, which makes this a great time to address driving and traveling safely with pets,” said Dr. Neil Shaw, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners. “By paying attention to these simple tips, hopefully traffic accidents, human injuries and pet injuries can be avoided.”
Below are some recommended tips from BluePearl veterinarians to remember next time you load your pets into the car.
- Never leave your pet in a car unattended. Even if you leave on the air conditioner in the summer or heater in the winter, these can fail and can leave your pet vulnerable to life-threatening conditions. Additionally, pets left alone in cars may attract pet thieves or car thieves.
- Never let a dog ride in the back of a pickup truck unsecured.
- Front seats are for adult passengers only. Pets and small children should ride in the back seat, safely secured. Never ride with a pet in your lap because it takes your attention off of the road and puts you, your pet and others in jeopardy. Airbags can severely injure pets as well as small children.
- Pets should ride in crates that are properly secured. Restraints and seat-belts for dogs may not prevent injury in an accident.
- Pets need to keep their heads inside while the car is moving. Debris, bugs and other flying objects can damage your pet’s eyes or even cause serious injury or death.
- Plan ahead and make plenty of rest stops. When taking a break, make sure your pet is on a secure leash and is wearing identification.
- Many hotels are now pet-friendly so you may wish to consider breaking up a long drive with an overnight stop to give everyone a chance to rest.