Like most of America, we’re big pet lovers at Jiffy Lube®. Which is why we want to share these travel safety tips to help you drive safely with the furriest member(s) of your family.
Dogs and cats should be properly secured, both for their safety and yours. Safe driving is undistracted driving, so no matter how cute the distraction is, it’s best to have pets securely in place. The best option is to put your pet in a crate, but if your pup is too large, you may need to buy a special harness. A loose, smaller pet poses another kind of challenge. It could scurry into the driver’s footwell area and interfere with your use of the accelerator or brake pedal.
All pet owners know that sometimes you have to say “no.” The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) cautions against allowing pets to ride with their heads out the window of a moving vehicle. Not only do they risk being hit with a flying object, but they are also at risk for inner ear damage and lung infections.
Help take the anxiety out of a new experience. Many pets become anxious from the noise and movement of traveling, and express this through barking, shaking, excessive drooling or even vomiting. Gradually introduce them to traveling with short trips before jumping on the highway. Your vet also may have medications that can help calm them down.
Upset stomachs are upsetting. Rather than feeding your pet right before leaving, give him or her a light meal a few hours in advance. This keeps them satisfied while minimizing the risk of a stomachache. It’s usually not a good idea to feed your pet in a moving vehicle.
Most important of all, don’t leave your pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the window cracked. Even on days when the temperature doesn’t seem high to you, inside your vehicle it can rise to levels that pose dangers to your pet. And cracking your window makes less difference than you think. For more on the dangers of unattended pets in vehicles, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association website.