Yesterday while having a bite with my people at Spoonful (a very dog friendly restaurant… they serve water with ice cubes! Perfect for those hot days) we saw what could have been a horrific accident. A vehicle was driving down the boulevard at a good speed with two four leggers hanging out the window. It happened so fast, one of the four leggers jumped out the window. Breaks squealed, smoke and rubber seemed to come off the pavement and a dog was on the road. Scared, disoriented and shocked.

Luckily this story ends on a happy note. Patrons of the restaurant, including my two leggers jumped up to help. An UPS truck stopped blocking the other lane of traffic. The dog’s owner jumped out of the stopped vehicle and everyone rushed to help this poor little pup. This has caused me to think about pet safety issues and how important it is to follow some rules while driving with your people.

There are lots of great products out there and I personally recommend the Snoozer Pet Car Safety System. The system has a comfy booster seat they call a “Lookout Pet Car Seat” with a Safety Harness and a Seat Belt Adapter. Now this system is for petite four leggers like myself. There are other options if you are a bigger four legger. There is the Solvit Pet Vehicle Safety Harness which looks quite nice.

Here are some tips and travel tricks for traveling with your four legged family member.

1. Prep
Be prepared. Always remember to wear your ID tags in case you lose sight of your two leggers. Water is always an essential even on short trip just in case you get thirsty. My people keep a collapsible bowl for me which works for water as well as food. You might want to bring a few kibbles with you as you never know when your two leggers decide to stay out past your tummy’s feed-me grumblings. We already discussed safety so have your safety device ready… be it a harness, booster seat with belt or a travel crate. I also like to bring a toy or chewy in case of boredom. If you have medical needs remember to bring your pills and potions. A Pet First-Aid Kit would be a wonderful addition.

2. Potty Breaks
Don’t Get Wet. Accidents happen be they an upset tummy from motion sickness to a bladder bump in the road. It is very important to stop ever so often to relieve yourself. Remember to always have your lead on before the door opens just in case there is a squirrel or other temptation outside that causes you to forget where you are and take off. Try to park in the shade so the car does not heat up too much and NEVER EVER leave a four legger in a car, cars can get too hot.

3. Keep Your Head
Don’t allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window, it looks like fun but it can cause inner ear damage and lung infections, and you could be injured by flying objects or jump out by accident.

Enjoy the ride and be safe.