Whenever we’re driving, we run the risk of accident and injury, no matter if we’re in the driver’s seat or a passenger. When we drive around with pets, we expose them to that same danger and risk.  

There is a great deal that goes into keeping pets safe while riding in a car, as well as how to help them ride comfortably and safely. So, that’s exactly what we’ll be covering for you here with tips to help keep them safe, as well as a few tricks to minimize the time you spend cleaning up!  

To Harness or not to Harness? 

On longer road trips the temptation is there to leave your animal loose in the car. You want them to be happy, so you let them roam around, or lounge in the backseat. However, while we’ve all done this, it can be very dangerous when you get into an accident.  

The best way to ensure the safety of you and your pet is to always keep them in a harness when driving, preferably the kind that straps into your seat belts. This will make sure your pet stays safe no matter what the circumstance.  There are kinds of harnesses for antsy pets that allow them to roam a bit, but all this depends on your pet. If you’re not sure which harness is best for your furry friend, just ask your local pet store for their recommendations.  

Take Short Breaks 

Pets need to use the bathroom as often, if not more often than people do, so it’s a good idea to make frequent stops. This helps make road trips with pets much easier, and about every two hours is a good rule of thumb to go by. 

In addition to bathroom breaks, dogs are more likely to get bored of being cooped up. Making frequent stops gives them a chance to romp around and let some of that energy out. Giving them the chance to do this will help them act better and will keep you from getting stressed out by their behavior.  

Always Keep it Cool 

Dogs overheat much faster than humans when the weather’s warm. Keep an eye on the internal temperature (if your car monitors that) and keep the AC on. If your dog is panting while sitting still, chances are it’s too warm for their comfort.  

Water is key for this! Bring a bottle of water and a bowl for your pet to drink out of and give them some about once every two hours. Keeping them well hydrated will make them more likely to go to the bathroom at each stop so that you don’t have to worry about accidents in the backseat.  

Puppy Pads: Man’s Real Best Friend 

If your dog is younger, chances are they don’t have the best control of their bodily functions yet. This is where puppy pads can really come in handy! 

I once had to make a 12-hour road trip with a puppy onboard. I was very paranoid about making sure he went at every single stop, but sometimes he just didn’t feel like it. He only used it once, but I had a puppy pad down in the foot space of the passenger seat, and it didn’t even make a mess! The pad worked beautifully, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who needs to ride somewhere with a puppy.  

When is Feeding Time? 

To feed before the trip or after? It all depends on your pet! If you have gone on road trips before and understand how your furry friend reacts to the motion that will help you decide when the best time is to feed them. If your dog or cat is prone to motion sickness, it’s generally suggested to wait until you get to your destination to feed them. A full stomach right before you start driving can make motion sickness worse and is more likely to cause them to throw up.  

Just make sure you’re still giving them plenty of fluids before and during the trip, then when you’re settled in one place for the night, or you get to your destination you can go ahead and feed them a full meal. 

However, if you’re going on a trip that’s more than a few hours, you are going to want to feed them sooner than that. If possible, try giving your pet their meal at least an hour before your drive, then feed them once you’ve stopped for the day. Minimizing an upset tummy that’s full of food during the trip will not only make them more comfortable, but it’ll keep you from needing to clean up any mess they might make. 

Don’t forget ID! 

Whether it’s a dog, cat, or something much smaller, it’s in your best interests to either make sure your pet has a collar or a tracking chip. When they get a break from being inside a closed space, pets are more likely to try to run off, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Road trips can be super unpredictable, but this will help you be confident that your pet will make it back home safely no matter what happens.  

All Together 

The truth is, pets can be unpredictable in their behavior, and these tips and tricks will hopefully give you some good ways to prepare for their antics. Not only will these help you keep them safe, but they will also help them enjoy the trip with their human. We want pets to be comfortable the whole way in cross-country trips, and we hope that these helped you get some good ideas on how to do that! 

Disclaimer: 

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing anxiety or other mental health symptoms, you should speak to a medical professional.

Whenever we’re driving, we run the risk of accident and injury, no matter if we’re in the driver’s seat or a passenger. When we drive around with pets, we expose them to that same danger and risk.  

There is a great deal that goes into keeping pets safe while riding in a car, as well as how to help them ride comfortably and safely. So, that’s exactly what we’ll be covering for you here with tips to help keep them safe, as well as a few tricks to minimize the time you spend cleaning up!  

To Harness or not to Harness? 

On longer road trips the temptation is there to leave your animal loose in the car. You want them to be happy, so you let them roam around, or lounge in the backseat. However, while we’ve all done this, it can be very dangerous when you get into an accident.  

The best way to ensure the safety of you and your pet is to always keep them in a harness when driving, preferably the kind that straps into your seat belts. This will make sure your pet stays safe no matter what the circumstance.  There are kinds of harnesses for antsy pets that allow them to roam a bit, but all this depends on your pet. If you’re not sure which harness is best for your furry friend, just ask your local pet store for their recommendations.  

Take Short Breaks 

Pets need to use the bathroom as often, if not more often than people do, so it’s a good idea to make frequent stops. This helps make road trips with pets much easier, and about every two hours is a good rule of thumb to go by. 

In addition to bathroom breaks, dogs are more likely to get bored of being cooped up. Making frequent stops gives them a chance to romp around and let some of that energy out. Giving them the chance to do this will help them act better and will keep you from getting stressed out by their behavior.  

Always Keep it Cool 

Dogs overheat much faster than humans when the weather’s warm. Keep an eye on the internal temperature (if your car monitors that) and keep the AC on. If your dog is panting while sitting still, chances are it’s too warm for their comfort.  

Water is key for this! Bring a bottle of water and a bowl for your pet to drink out of and give them some about once every two hours. Keeping them well hydrated will make them more likely to go to the bathroom at each stop so that you don’t have to worry about accidents in the backseat.  

Puppy Pads: Man’s Real Best Friend 

If your dog is younger, chances are they don’t have the best control of their bodily functions yet. This is where puppy pads can really come in handy! 

I once had to make a 12-hour road trip with a puppy onboard. I was very paranoid about making sure he went at every single stop, but sometimes he just didn’t feel like it. He only used it once, but I had a puppy pad down in the foot space of the passenger seat, and it didn’t even make a mess! The pad worked beautifully, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who needs to ride somewhere with a puppy.  

When is Feeding Time? 

To feed before the trip or after? It all depends on your pet! If you have gone on road trips before and understand how your furry friend reacts to the motion that will help you decide when the best time is to feed them. If your dog or cat is prone to motion sickness, it’s generally suggested to wait until you get to your destination to feed them. A full stomach right before you start driving can make motion sickness worse and is more likely to cause them to throw up.  

Just make sure you’re still giving them plenty of fluids before and during the trip, then when you’re settled in one place for the night, or you get to your destination you can go ahead and feed them a full meal. 

However, if you’re going on a trip that’s more than a few hours, you are going to want to feed them sooner than that. If possible, try giving your pet their meal at least an hour before your drive, then feed them once you’ve stopped for the day. Minimizing an upset tummy that’s full of food during the trip will not only make them more comfortable, but it’ll keep you from needing to clean up any mess they might make. 

Don’t forget ID! 

Whether it’s a dog, cat, or something much smaller, it’s in your best interests to either make sure your pet has a collar or a tracking chip. When they get a break from being inside a closed space, pets are more likely to try to run off, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Road trips can be super unpredictable, but this will help you be confident that your pet will make it back home safely no matter what happens.  

All Together 

The truth is, pets can be unpredictable in their behavior, and these tips and tricks will hopefully give you some good ways to prepare for their antics. Not only will these help you keep them safe, but they will also help them enjoy the trip with their human. We want pets to be comfortable the whole way in cross-country trips, and we hope that these helped you get some good ideas on how to do that! 

Disclaimer: 

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing anxiety or other mental health symptoms, you should speak to a medical professional.

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