In summer the temperatures rise, the days get longer, and what is more heartwarming than heading out on a sunny car ride with your furry best friend by your side?
*Note: This article is a guest post by Kurgo writer Kaitlyn Manktelow.*
While this may trigger some fantasy of a trip with your dog happily slobbering along the side of the car; let’s take a paws on this daydream to make sure your perfect summer plan isn’t unsafe for both you and your pet.
Whether you are preparing for the ultimate cross country road trip or just planning a trip to your favorite ice cream stand, here are some tips on making this summer bark worthy for both you and your dog.
Who Let The Dogs Out?
During the summertime, it’s not uncommon to see dogs off leashes, running, walking and hiking beside their owners. With all the travelling happening, many of dogs each year are injured or lost when they jump out of a car uncontrolled.
For those of us that see dogs as part of the family, this can be devastating. Leashes and collars are an obvious choice to the caring pet owner, but ID tags and microchips are great investments as well.
Taking a pit stop in a noisy, unfamiliar city can send some dogs running away through uncharted territory making it especially hard to find them. Having ID tags and microchips can help ensure your best friend makes his way back home.
Safety First….But Not For Your Dog?
Most of us put on a seatbelt in the car without giving it a second thought, better to be safe than sorry, right? We make sure that all human passengers are buckled up, but what about our animal family members?
In addition to being injured in a crash, a loose pet can also be a possible hazard for human passengers in an accident. An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert roughly 500 pounds of force on anything it hits, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert approximately 2400 pounds of force. A loose dog can also limit a driver’s ability to steer, use the gas and brakes as well as create blind spots.
One car safety solution is to use a dog seat belt with a harness. The Direct to Seatbelt Tether clips into the seat belt buckle of the car and can attach right onto your pet’s crash tested harness safely securing them in place.
Click it or ticket – did you know there are laws being put into place in the United States and across the globe making it illegal to drive with a loose pet?
Your Dog Should Never Be Calling “Shotgun!”
Many dog owners are guilty of letting Fido ride in the front seat with them, while they stick their head out to the window, looking just so gosh darn happy. But while it may be cute, it can be as distracting as being on your phone while driving. Nearly 30% of drivers have admitted to being distracted by their dog (AAA/Kurgo Study). This can include petting the dog, using hands to hold the dog in place while hitting the brakes, or taking pictures of their pooch.
A great solution for keeping Fido safe is the Back Seat Barrier , which creates a soft wall keeping your slobbery friend in the backseat while still allowing them to see you through the mesh opening. It also provides versatility, so that when other passengers ride in the back seat, the barrier doesn’t have to be removed. For the dog owners that love their cars almost as much as their dogs; it also provides as a great way to keep the front seat hair and drool free (which is always a plus!).
If you have a smaller dog and insist on keeping your pooch in the front seat, a Booster Seat on the passenger side is a great option. This item is elevated so the dog can see out the window and offers a seatbelt tether so your small dog won’t jump out of the seat while moving.
How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?
A dog should never be left in an unattended car, no matter the season. However, in summer heat, it is even more important considering that on an 85 degree day, car temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees within 10 minutes even with the windows open! Also, chances are you aren’t the only one who finds your furry friend adorable and pets that are left alone, can attract pet snatchers. With these, ‘what ifs’ it’s better to just bring your pet along with you!
For more tips, check out this Pet Travel Safety Tips Video.
About Kaitlyn Manktelow – Kaitlyn is a writer and videographer for Kurgo, a dog travel and outdoor products company. She enjoys filming, traveling, and singing way too loud with her rescue dog Samuel Jackson.