Pet Travel Safety Tips to Protect Your Fur-babies

As pet owners, ensuring the safety and well-being of our furry companions should be a top priority, especially when we’re on the road. Whether it’s a short trip to the park or a long road trip adventure, following a few easy pet travel safety tips could put your mind at ease and make the world of difference in potentially dangerous situations.

Pet Travel Safety Tips to Protect Your Fur-babies

1. Secure Your Pet

In the same way that drivers and passengers use seatbelts, pets should be restrained during car trips. This not only keeps your pet safe; it also keeps you safe.

  • Pets that are loose in the car can cause serious injury to you and other passengers in an accident. For example, at a gentle 50km/h, a medium-large dog of 20kg could exert a force equivalent to an average-sized eland bull!
  • If your pet has the freedom to roam your car interior while you’re driving, it could become a distraction.

There are numerous options to keep your pet secure in the car, such as dog car seats, dog safety harnesses for cars, cat carriers – which are suitable for very small dogs and bunnies too – and custom-built pet barriers, which are designed to keep your dog in the back seat.

2. Keep your pet in the back seat

The safest place for your pet to sit in the car is in the back seat. Although we love to have our furry family riding shotgun beside us, allowing a dog or cat carrier to sit in the front passenger seat increases the risks of the driver becoming distracted, and of serious injury to you or your pet during an accident, even if you only apply the brakes a little harder than usual.

Also, remember that cars have been designed for human safety, which means that when an airbag is deployed, it could seriously or fatally injure your pet.

3. Never leave an unattended pet in the car

Domestic animals, and especially dogs, are susceptible to heat stroke when left in confined, hot spaces. Even on a mild day of 22°C, your car interior could reach an unbearable temperature of 47°C within an hour – and prolonged exposure to just 41°C could be fatal to a dog.
If you’re running into a store for five minutes and have absolutely no other options, open the windows a few centimeters and leave a bowl of water where your pet can lap up a few refreshing sips if it feels parched… Then hurry back!

4. Keep your dog’s head in the car

We know it’s adorable, and every hound loves to feel the wind flicking back its ears! However, it turns out that allowing a dog to sit with its head out the window while you’re driving can be dangerous.

Dogs sometimes bump their head as they pass by trees or roadside objects, sustain injuries from stones kicked up by tyres or passing vehicles, and even fall or jump out of the car. Your gorgeous canine could also be a distraction to other drivers, resulting in an accident.

5. Maximise pet comfort with pet travel accessories

Investing in pet travel accessories can enhance your pet’s safety and make them more comfortable during car rides. Consider using pet harnesses or carriers to secure your pet in place, car seat covers to protect your vehicle from fur and scratches, and window shades to shield your pet from direct sunlight.

Road-tripping like a pro

Kudos to you for taking your pet on holiday with you! Apart from general safety precautions, you can also make your dog’s trip extra comfy by being prepared. Here are some ideas to ensure that your pet loves road-tripping with you as much as you love having them with you:

  • Start young – Take your pets on errands whenever possible, using the above safety practices, from the time they are pups and kittens, so that they know the drill when going for a drive.
  • Give them time to digest – Pets travel better when their stomachs are settled. Avoid driving long distances with them directly after meals.
  • Plan for pit stops – Be sure to stop regularly during longer trips, to allow your pet to stretch its legs, get some fresh air, and have a few sips of water.
  • Pack a pet travel kit – Stay prepared by having a pet travel kit with you. Pack food and extra water, simple first aid supplies, wound spray, a foil blanket, a towel, and some bedding.
  • Maintain a cool temperature –Remember how sensitive your pets are to heat, and keep the car interior cool by using air conditioning and window shields.

At Matrix, we’re committed to your safety, and the safety of those you love – including your pets! Whether driving around town or traversing cross-country, we have a selection of tracking devices and security solutions to enhance your protection while you’re on the road.