Want to go for a ride? Those six little words are often music to a dog's ears. Whether you're bringing them to the local dog park, on vacation, or to visit friends and family, most dogs enjoy a road trip. You probably ensure that you and your human family are buckled up before you go, but are you also keeping your pets safe when they are riding in the car with you?
As a leading authority on pet travel and pet friendly hotels, we conducted a poll to find out how many pet owners are securing their furry companions while on the road. Fifty-nine percent of the 1,000 respondents reported taking proper safety precautions, which is up from just 53% only two years ago.
According to our survey, here are the top methods pet parents are using to secure their furkids.
1. Vehicle Pet Barrier
This was the most popular pet travel restraint in the survey, cited to be used by 35% of pet parents. These barriers are used in the back seat or cargo area of the vehicle, keeping your pet safely away from you and your passengers, and more importantly, away from the windshield in the event of an accident.
2. Pet Safety Belt
Buckle 'em up like 25% of the people in the survey do! Pet seat belts are made to easily slip onto your existing vehicle's seat belt, and they act as a harness to keep your pet safely in the seat in case there is a sudden stop or impact. It also keeps pets from distracting drivers.
3. Pet Travel Crate
Fifteen percent of pet parents in the poll reported putting their pet in a travel crate or carrier while inside the car. Make sure it's well-ventilated and large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in. There are a variety of wire, mesh, hard plastic and soft-sided carriers available to fit your pet. If your buddy hasn't been familiarized with a crate environment, it will be important to do so prior to your ride.
4. Vehicle Pet Barrier + Pet Safety Belt Combo
Using a pet seat belt in combination with a vehicle pet barrier was a method that 6% of pet parents reportedly use. Pairing these two restraints provides additional security for traveling pets.
5. Pet Car Seat
For smaller pets, pet travel car seats are the perfect answer when you're on the go, and are a good option for 5% of the survey respondents. Reminiscent of a booster seat, your pet is able to look out and see what is going on while your vehicle's own safety belt holds the seat in place. Your pet is secured in the car seat with a lead which is attached on to his harness.
Roaming Free is Not a Good Option
It's encouraging that pet parents traveling with their four-legged family members are trying to keep them safe, but 41% of the people who took the survey do not currently secure their pets in the car. Letting your pet have free reign in a vehicle or sit in your lap while driving can have serious consequences. Aside from the obvious implications during a crash, if the scared pet gets free from the car, he could wander out into the road or try to hamper the efforts of rescue workers. And although dogs love to stick their heads out windows, doing so can actually damage their eyes and ears, not to mention put them at risk of falling out. The same also applies to truck beds.
An unrestrained pet can multiply its weight by hundreds or even thousands of pounds during an automobile accident. Some vehicle accident statistics report loose objects, including pets, to be one of the top five reasons for automobile injuries. Don't put your beloved pets in harm's way when you take them for a ride.