When it comes to taking our pets for rides in the car, it’s only natural that some will be more into it than others. But whether you have the dog who loves to stick his head out the window and catch a breeze, or the cat who is intent on scratching through the upholstery on your backseat, there are some ways you can ease the stress on everybody and plan for a more pleasant—and safer—ride.
Make sure your pet is secured while you travel. Never leave your pet (especially your cat) free to roam around the car. There are many options for safely securing them, from harnesses to car seats to crates and carriers. Find what works best for you and use it every time your pet comes along for a ride.
Keep a pet kit in the car. Fill a small box with some things you might need while out with your pet: extra water, treats, a towel, waste bags, first aid essentials, and cleaning wipes. (If you’ve ever had a pet get sick in your car, you know that the more cleaning supplies you have on hand the better!) Keep the kit in the trunk so you know that you’re always covered in an emergency.
Get your pet used to the ride. Some pets take to car rides right away, while others are a bit more resistant. Start your pet off with short drives around the block to get them comfortable, and by the time you need to take them somewhere further away, they’ll know what to expect.
Never leave your pet alone in the car. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside or how short of a time period you’ll be gone—leaving your pet alone in the car is incredibly dangerous. Cars can easily become furnaces in hot weather and refrigerators in cold weather. Always choose to be safe rather than sorry and avoid ever leaving your pet alone in the car.
Don’t feed your pet a huge meal before setting out. Same goes for giving your pet a lot to drink. We all know how easy it is to get a little car sick, so avoid the possibility of making your pet miserable by only feeding light meals before you go. If possible, don’t feed your pet in the three to four hours prior to setting off.