Whether heading off to work or out to play, pet parents love bringing four-legged family members along for the ride. While putting on our own seatbelts may be second nature, we sometimes forget to make sure our four-legged co-worker or playmate is secured, too.
Having pets loose in the vehicle can be more than a dangerous driving distraction; it can pose a serious threat to your pet’s safety —not to mention your own — in the event of an accident. In many states, transporting an unrestrained pet can trigger a hefty fine, while other states have banned pets from riding on owners’ laps.
To ensure that all travelers arrive safely at their destination, work one of these options into your commute:
crate or carrier: A carrier adds another layer of protection to your pet in an accident, but be sure it is secured. Most small carriers have a strap or handle to loop a seatbelt through.
To secure a larger crate, try using bungee cords or (if possible) bolting it down inside the vehicle’s cargo area.
pet safety harnesses or seat belts: These harnesses are designed to work with your car’s back seat safety restraints. Several options are available, but the jury is still out on which design is best. Do your research before deciding on a harness for your pet; the Center for Pet Safety (centerforpetsafety.org) is a good place to start.
Hitting the road with your pet can be a blast, but it’s not all fun and games. Take proper precautions to help the whole family stay safe and secure.