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Summer Travel with Your Furry Family Members

Summer Travel with Your Furry Family Members

The nation is coming out from under the Covid-19 cloud that’s been hanging over us for over a year.  Families are cautiously venturing out on trips and vacations again and many of those journeys will include the family pets.  We at Aussie Pet Mobile want to take this opportunity to cover a few things to remember when traveling with your furry family members.

Every one of us can’t help but smile when we see a loving pet sitting on an owner’s lap with their head happily out the window catching the wind.  But, consider this, car safety is absolutely just as important for your pets as it is for your children or other passengers.  Some might even say that practicing safe travel habits with your pets is critical because they cannot always understand the outcome of their actions.  Aussie Pet Mobile wants you and your pets to have a safe and happy summer.

There are times when your pet needs to be transported, and there are times you just want to take your pet with you on a trip. Number one rule is to know that you need to have some sort of way to restrain your pet. You must also keep your car doors closed and your windows closed.  It is not much different than having to restrain your toddler or small child.

The difference is your pet may decide to sit in your lap or jump out the window while you’re driving down the highway. Think about that, you are minding your own business driving down the highway at 65 miles per hour and here comes your pet trying to squeeze into your lap between you and the steering wheel. How safe is that? That is not uncommon as pets have a natural urge to get out of cramped spaces like a car. Animals do not have an innate understanding of what will happen to them as they try to jump out of a car traveling 65 mph.

As the weather gets warmer, more dog owners will take their pets for car rides, something most dogs love to do.  Before you pull your car out of the driveway, be sure to make the trip safe for you and your pet.

Reed Berry, award-winning traffic safety educator and California state-licensed traffic school instructor, includes pet safety in his presentations.  Reminding everyone that pets are family members, “The Traffic Guy,” as Berry is known, offers suggestions for safe car rides for the entire family.

Dogs want to explore and will move around the car unless they are restrained with a safety harness.  Just like children, dogs should be restrained in the back seat so if you have an accident they are safe from the dashboard air bag impact.  (Air bags deploy at 200 miles per hour and the force could injure or kill them.)

A quick search online can help you locate Web sites, such as Pet Auto Safety, that offer pet car safety solutions. Select a harness size that fits your dog comfortably and securely attaches to the vehicle’s seat belt. No matter how cute it may look, never use a child’s safety seat for your dog.

Use a well-ventilated carrier that has a secure door and latch, big enough for your dog to sit and lie down.  Place it facing forward so your dog will get plenty of air during the trip.  Also, place a towel or sheepskin on the carrier’s bottom to make your dog more comfortable.  Most importantly, secure the carrier to the car so if you stop short or have an accident, the carrier – with your dog – doesn’t get thrown around or fly out of the car.

Depending on the length of the trip, give your pet a small meal before starting out.  A few snacks along the way will be better for his stomach.  Bring plenty of water and even some ice cubes for your dog to lick to keep him from becoming thirsty or sick.

Again, just like it’s never safe for children to stick their arms or head out of a moving vehicle, it’s not safe for your dog either.  Not to mention all the dust and debris that can get into their eyes and cause injury.  By opening the window just a few inches, your dog can feel the breeze and enjoy the ride.

People ask how long they can leave their dog unattended in a car. The answer is never! Owners can be punished for leaving a dog in a car, under anti cruelty statutes or laws that specifically forbid leaving a dog in a parked vehicle without adequate ventilation.

The temperature inside a parked car, even on a cool day, is always higher than the outside temperature. If you think leaving the car windows rolled down is a good solution, think again. It could end in theft of both your car and your dog.

If you’re going on a long drive, bring some of your dog’s favorite bedding and toys so he will keep busy during the trip and be comforted by the usual smells from home.  Buying new toys is fine, but present them at home a few days before the trip so your dog won’t become concerned that everything he sees and smells is new and different.

Finally, Aussie Pet Mobile encourages you to consider grooming your pets before you take any summer trips with them.  Imagine how much happier and more comfortable you and your pet will be if you treat your pet to a pre-travel Aussie Pet Mobile SPA day featuring our awesome 15-Step SPA Grooming and our amazing de-shedding treatment.  Eliminating the flying hair that sticks to everything in your car will make your trip more enjoyable.  If your pet needs a haircut, having them properly clipped will also reduce the possibility of matts or knots in their coat.  This is especially helpful when your trip includes lakes, rivers or ocean stays where your pet is sure to go swimming.  Finally, just basic things like nail cutting will help save your car’s upholstery and help keep your pet comfortable.  Before you travel, make your first reservation with Aussie Pet Mobile at 1-800-PET-MOBILE or at www.AussiePetMobile.Com and safe travels!