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Car Safety Tips for Your Dog

Whether you're heading out on a family road trip or just heading to the yearly vet check up, make sure you're prepared to keep your dog safe during the car ride. These six car tips will keep your beloved pup happy and, most importantly, safe while traveling. 

Do a few practice trips to reduce anxiety

You've packed the car, buckled everyone in and are ready to take off. As soon as you leave the driveway, however, your dog starts whining and you can tell he feels anxious. It's going to be a long trip for everyone.

Prevent this scenario from playing out by preparing your dog for the trip. If your pet has never traveled by car before, it's a good idea to do a couple of short practice runs first to prevent any surprises. By the time you're ready to leave for your trip, your dog will already be used to the movement and hopefully will feel more at ease because of it.  

Restrain or contain your dog

Most people wouldn't dream of driving without first properly strapping in their kids. The same precautions should be extended to pets. There are two safe ways to restrain a dog. One is a harness, which is also referred to as a pet belt. The other option is a crate. When searching for a crate or harness, be sure that the design you choose still allows your dog to stand, sit or lie down. Forcing your dog to be in one position for the entire trip causes discomfort and could make him irritable during the car ride. 

Don't allow your dog to stick his head out of the window 

Dogs love popping their head out of car windows, but that doesn't mean they should. When you're traveling down the highway at 55 mph or higher, debris and other flying objects can cause eye or head injuries. Keep the window mostly closed to prevent any temptation. 

Never leave your dog unattended in the car

When it comes to leaving dogs in cars, it's always better to be safe rather than sorry. Never leave your dog in your car. Car interiors heat up quickly, and even a quick stop at a fast-food restaurant can pose a greatdanger. When you stop to get out of the car, use the opportunity to allow your dog to enjoy some fresh air as well. 

Take breaks to stretch your legs

On long road trips, the whole family can benefit from breaks to prevent going stir crazy. Take a few longer breaks, during which you can actually get up and move around, rather than just relying on your gas and bathroom stops to stretch your legs. Both the kids and the dog will be grateful!

Feed Fido lighter meals throughout the trip

Road trips can be a fun experience for the whole family with the proper precautions in place. Along with these important car-safety tips, make sure your dog is micro-chipped and wearing an ID tag the entire time during your vacation. In unfamiliar territory, your pup is more likely to lose his way; an ID tag makes it easy for strangers to bring him back.  To prevent an upset stomach, prepare a light meal for your pup a couple of hours before leaving. When it's time for him to eat again, take a break from driving so that your dog can eat while stopped.