The Safest way to Drive Your Pet Around

Services for Real Estate Pros Insurance NPN # 13379201

What dog doesn’t like to go for a car ride every once in a while—and what dog owner doesn’t like to indulge that?

And cats, while not friends of automobile transportation in general, need to visit the vet annually in order to ensure their continued

good health which means they, too, must travel by car on a somewhat regular basis. But driving your pets around isn’t just a matter of

throwing them into the car and hoping for the best. Here are some tips on the safest ways to transport your favorite four-legged family member.


Tips for Dogs

 •Close the window: This may be heartbreaking to read, but allowing your dog to ride in the car with his head out the window is actually dangerous. Debris in the air can get into his eyes or lungs, and according to the Humane Association, cold air forced into their lungs can cause illness.

•Use a harness: Just as it is dangerous with a small child, it is dangerous to travel with your dog unseat belted. Dogs should either be in a carrier while you drive or in a harness that connects to your vehicle’s safety belt system. This will prevent them from getting thrown and injured in an accident.

•Only bring pets to pet friendly locations: No animal should be left unattended in a vehicle, no matter how comfortable the weather is. If you are driving to a destination that does not allow pets to come inside, leave your dog at home.

 Tips for Cats

 •Use a carrier: For the safety of both the cat and the people in the car, trips with cats should always be conducted with the cat inside a carrier. Frightened cats are a danger in terms of their claws and their small size, so keep them in a carrier at all times.

•Get the cat used to traveling: It can be extremely stressful to your cat to go on a long car ride, even when she’s in the safety of her carrier. To get your cat used to the car, take them on short trips a few times a month and reward her with treats afterward. You can gradually lengthen the trip times in order to get her ready for a multi-day trip.

 It doesn’t take much effort to keep your pet safe and comfortable when traveling. Taking these extra steps will help add years to their lives.


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Comments (45)

Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Great tips and advice for animal lovers. Never thought that letting my dog's head outside the window while driving was hazardous to her health. Thank you for sharing.

Jan 27, 2013 01:58 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey Frank, I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  Enyoy the rest of your weekend.

Jan 27, 2013 02:29 AM
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

Frank, every time I see someone who lets their dog hang out of the car window I become dismayed because I know what can happen should you have an accident, then what.  Plus as you say, think of the health reasons not to do that.  I also hate to see drivers with a dog in their lap even if it is a small dog.  This should not happen as it distracts your driving.  Dogs in the back of a truck, loose or just on a chain, what?  Is the owner crazy, if they stop suddenly, have an accident and the dog jumps out, strangles because of the chain or the truck turns on them.  Just hate to see it!  Great post.

Jan 27, 2013 03:33 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Frank - These are good tips for keeping beloved pets safe while travelling.
Jan 27, 2013 06:18 AM
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Just came over from Kathy's blog Frank and honestly, these are terrific tips-I try to harness my dog because he loves to be in my lap when we drive and that is out of the question!  And, it's totally distracting for other drivers to see him hanging out the window!

Jan 27, 2013 07:59 AM
Nan Jester
Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery

Odd that you should bring up this subject. I just read an editorial in our local weekly paper about a jerk who had a dachshund dangling off the back of his pick up because of his stupidity and probably killed the dog in the process. Heart-breaking.

Jan 27, 2013 09:15 AM
Jeanne Kozak
RE/MAX In Action - Martinsburg, WV
REALTOR and Broker/Owner in WV and VA

My dog loves to ride, but I am careful when opening doors so he does not jump out. But I never take him in the summer, he is not happy about it, but just too dangerous

Jan 27, 2013 11:04 AM
Nina Rogoff
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Medfield, MA
Sells Real Estate!

The first time my dog stepped on the power window switch and lowered the window while I was driving really scared me. After that, I had the window lock button depressed. I'm afraid she'll jump out of the window...I didn't even think about the fact that dogs could get hit with debris. Great post!

Jan 27, 2013 11:16 AM
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional
Hi Frank, I saw this post on Pat's list of Favs for the week and wanted to compliment you on some excellent points for transporting our pets in the car. Well done and a great topic.
Jan 27, 2013 12:16 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Great tips.  I've always found it rather challenging w/ my cat in the car.  years ago, he mewed so much in his carrier and I let him out.  That was a big mistake as he tried to curl up by my feet and that was very dangerous.  Never again.

Jan 27, 2013 06:14 PM
Frank Laisch
Orlando, FL
"The Insurance Guy"

Thank you all for the great Comments! The reason for this post was, We has an insured that was in a car accident due to having her dog in her lap while driving. Be safe out there, we already have too many distractions on the road

Jan 27, 2013 08:38 PM
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale
Frank-Since pets are so much a part families now this is good advice for those who transport their pets.
Jan 28, 2013 07:22 AM
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Frank - Our dog loves going in the car, but the only time he's allowed is when it's time for a vet check.

Jan 28, 2013 09:38 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
The windows up would be a tough but healthy change for the Pooch.
Jan 28, 2013 12:16 PM
Frank Laisch
Orlando, FL
"The Insurance Guy"

Wayne, Michelle & Cheryl, Thank you for the comments. Safety and keeping your pets healthy are most important. Thanks for stopping by  

Jan 28, 2013 07:00 PM
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Taking care of our furry friends is super important!! I know first hand how much they depend on their humans to keep them safe. Thanks for the info Frank

Jan 28, 2013 10:45 PM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Frank, I am glad I came over today. I will certainly remember to roll all my back windows up and place a seat belt or restraint on my dogs for now on. Thanks for the great tips.

Jan 29, 2013 10:24 PM
Insurance Solutions
Insurance Solutions Unlimited, LLC - West Palm Beach, FL

Safety is very important when you are  drive pets in the vehicle.  

Feb 03, 2013 07:29 PM
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Frank, great  tips for pet owners. I have the harness, but did not know that it was so dangerous for the window to be down in that way. I thought you were going to say that sometimes pets inadvertently press the 'window up' button and  themselves in in the window.

Feb 10, 2013 03:18 AM
Frank Laisch
Orlando, FL
"The Insurance Guy"

Sandy, that is so true, pets will hit the window button & raise or lower the window on accident

Feb 10, 2013 07:18 PM