Driving With Pets

German Shepherd in CarDriving with Pets

A lot of people drive with their pets, whether it’s their German Shepherd in the trunk of the station wagon or a Collie riding shotgun, head out the window. While having a pet in your vehicle is often unavoidable, it can sometimes be dangerous to both the pet and the driver. No pet should roam about the car while it is on the road. To ensure that both you and your pet are safe and comfortable on your trips, follow these tips and consider these accessories.

Start Young

If you must drive with your pet, acquaint them with your vehicle from a young age. When your pet feels like it is in a safe, familiar, and comfortable environment, it will cooperate and not cause you any problems. Train your pet with initial short trips in the car, and go from there.

Bring the Right Supplies

When traveling with a pet, it is always smart to bring cleaning supplies in case there are any pet related messes. Shop before you travel with your pet. If your pet travels with you often, consider leaving the cleaning supplies in your car. Also, it is a good idea to travel with food and water for your pet so that you do not have to look for it after you arrive at your destination. In addition to those two important kinds of supplies, it is a good idea to have some sort of first aid kit in your vehicle for you and your pet in case of any accidents, vehicular or otherwise.

German Shepherd and Cincinnati SkylineMake Frequent Stops

While your pet may be housetrained, traveling could be different, especially when traveling long distances. Stop every few hours to let your pet go to the bathroom and stretch; these stops are good for you and other passengers, too. Often, this is a good way to visit more places along the way. Pick destinations that will be both a good place to take your pet, and a place that you would like to see.

Never Leave Your Pet in a Parked Vehicle

Although it is sometimes unavoidable, try never to leave your pet alone in your vehicle. The inside of a vehicle can get hot quickly in the summer and can get extremely cold in the winter. Extreme heat could lead to heatstroke or even death, and extremely cold temperatures could lead to comparable outcomes. If you have to leave your pet in a parked vehicle, do it for only a short amount of time.


Cat in travel bagPet Travel Accessories

There are a number of accessories on the market that are designed to keep you and your pet safe and comfortable while traveling. These items range from kennels designed for your vehicle to seat protectors and covers. Using a kennel, crate, or cage is always the safest way to travel with your pet. These can be bought at any major pet store. If one of these options is not available or the right option for your pet, there are several types of vehicle pet harnesses or a number of pet car seats.


The PetBuckle seat belt harness is a great option for dogs. It is a harness that fits around the dog’s upper body and then attaches to the vehicle’s seatbelt. There are different sizes for different sized dogs. There is also a Petbuckle designed for pickup trucks that will secure a dog in the bed of a truck.


For small to medium sized dogs, PetGear makes several different kinds of car and booster seats that have built-in harnesses to keep them safe. PetGear also carries several other types of traveling gear, including bike baskets and strollers.


cat in crateCats should always travel in a crate, cage, or pet car seat that can be secured to the seat in some way. Most cats do not enjoy traveling and should be contained in a crate. The Catit Design Cabrio Cat Carrier is a high quality crate that is designed to keep your cat comfortable even if it hates to travel. The crate is suitable for travel both in a car and on a plane, so you will most likely never need to buy another type of carrier ever again.


If done safely, traveling with pets in the car can be a fun and rewarding experience. Taking your pet with you on your trips could not only make the destination more fun but may also make the ride there a little better.


How do you travel with your pet? What do you take with you when you do? What has been the difference between a successful trip with pets and an unsuccessful trip? Leave a comment in the box below.



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