My dogs are my besties. No joke, they are probably the best friends I’ve ever had and I look for any excuse to spend more time with them. Since I work from home, I spend a good part of my day with my dogs already, but when Take Your Dog to Work Day rolls around, it’s the perfect excuse to work out of my remote office with my fur kids. However, before taking pets on a road trip, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. I teamed up with Ford to bring you a few travel safety tips for dog owners that you should keep in mind anytime you take your dog on a car ride, regardless how far your adventure may take you.
As part of this Take Your Dog to Work Day project, Ford let me test drive their 2016 Ford Explorer. My mom had an Explorer when I was growing up, but boy have these cars changed. The one that I drove was the platinum edition and had every bell and whistle imaginable. Things like parking assistance, ventilated seats, premium sound, accent lighting, and my favorite feature—Massaging seats! While these are the things that excite humans, my dogs were happy to see that the SUV is super roomy and comfortable for them. This model has motorized stow and go seats, so it makes it easy to create room for the furry kids.
Fun Fact: Together my fur babies weigh 200 pounds! So you can understand why they appreciate the extra leg room that this SUV offers.
Realistically my dogs come to work with me everyday, but to make the day a little more exciting, I decided to work from an outdoor office that my dogs love—the dog park! Before we headed off to doggy Disney World, the first thing I did was to make sure we were not only traveling in style, but safely too.
Travel Safety Tips for Dog Owners
Leashed and Crated is the Safest Way to Travel- Most dogs love to ride in the car, but it’s important to keep your safety and your pet’s safety in mind. The safest way for your pet to travel in the car is in a dog travel crate anchored to the vehicle with a seat belt. A pet carrier paired with this securing method is a great way to keep a pet safe in case you were to be an accident. It will also help to prevent you from distraction if you have a dog that likes to move around a lot in the car.
If you have a big dog like I do, you may want to consider a dog seat belt to keep your big kid in place. I’ve even heard of some people using a special pet car seat to keep them put, although I have never used this method. Just make sure to check the safety ratings on these products, Forbes actually has a great guide for picking the best seat belt for dogs.
Babies Don’t Ride in the Front and Neither Do Dogs– A car has many safety features for human adults, but these features can be dangerous to your dog. Always have your dog ride in the back seat in case your airbag was to deploy in an accident.
If your dogs are like mine, they like wander around in the back seat. Installing a dog car barrier in your vehicle is an idea to consider.
Never Leave Your Pet Unattended- This is so important, especially in very cold or hot climates. Hundreds of pets have died in cars because the temperature inside a closed vehicle rises very quickly. Your dog should never stay in the car alone, period. Plan trips to places that are pet-friendly, or leave your pet at home if the proper accommodations cannot be made. In a rut? Consider doggie daycare for a few hours or bring a human along to watch your pet while you are away from your vehicle.
All body parts inside of the vehicle- It’s not safe for humans to ride with their arms and legs hanging outside of the car, and your pets body parts, including their head is not an exception. Your pet can get hurt from road debris. It can also lead to your pet catching a cold, and who wants a road trip to turn into being sick? Keep your pet safe by keeping them secured inside of your vehicle.
The best thing about these tips is that they apply to any occasion when your dog is in your car. Whether you are going out for a quick errand, or heading off on a summer vacation with your pet, make sure to always make your pet’s safety a priority.