Our dogs aren't just our pets—they're also a part of our family.
And because we have such a close connection with them, we often take them along with us whether we are traveling just a short distance or across the country.
Of course, we want to make sure that our furry traveling companions are safe whenever they ride in the car.
Here are some helpful tips that we can refer to when traveling with our four-legged friends.
The experts at the American Kennel Association advise that your dog should never sit or stand on your lap when you drive. And your dog shouldn't lean out your window either.
This can distract you while driving and can also obstruct your vision. Also, don't forget that this could violate a local law prohibiting distracted driving if you have one in your area.
Your dog should also never ride in the front passenger seat. Doing so puts your dog at risk of being injured by an airbag if it deploys. Airbags are designed to protect adult humans, not dogs.
However, if your vehicle doesn't have a front passenger-side airbag, your dog can ride seated in the front passenger seat, but only if he is properly restrained.
Proper restraint requires that your dog wears an appropriate dog seatbelt. Check with your veterinarian about getting a dog seatbelt that will protect your dog in case of an accident or sudden stop.
And never allow your dog to ride in the bed of a pickup truck. Not only could your dog be injured if there is a collision, but your dog could also jump out or be hit by objects such as tree branches and road debris.
So how should your dog ride in your vehicle?
An excellent way for your dog to travel in your vehicle is in a dog crate made of a strong material like aluminum.
Make sure that the crate is big enough for your dog to be able to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lie down.
You should place the crate containing your dog on the floor next to the back seat or in the open storage area inside the vehicle. Once your dog is in its crate, the crate should not be on the back seat and not in a closed trunk.
These are some guidelines from the experts at the American Kennel Association to help make your dog's ride in your vehicle less stressful and more enjoyable, as well as safer.
Is your dog safe in your car?
Until next time, stay safe and be careful out there.