From time to time you will find it necessary to transport your dog in your car, whether it is just a trip to the vet, visiting friends, or going on vacation. Whether you drive a limo or just a small five door sedan, your furry friend needs to be transported safely. In this case, the word “safely” refers not just to your dog, but to you and your family, and to other road users also.
Different states have different laws, but in at least one – New Jersey – police can stop and fine you anything from $250 – $1,000 if the officer considers you are transporting your dog “inappropriately”. In others it is an offence to drive with a dog on your lap, even if it is a very small breed.
In many states it is an offence to leave a dog in a car on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can become extreme in a matter of a few minutes, even if a small gap is left at the top of the windows. Every year, dogs are killed as a result of being left in a parked car and overheating. Never, ever, leave a dog in a locked car in warm/hot weather under any circumstances.
If your dog is free to bound around inside your car or limo (if that’s what you drive) it can cause a distraction which can easily result in you having an accident.
There are a couple of simple ways to transport your dog safely, one of which is to install a mesh grid behind the rear seats which confines your dog to the area between the grid and the rear door.
A Proper Crate
Better still is a proper cage or crate. The crate should be an appropriate size for your dog – there is little worse than a dog being confined to a cramped cage for several hours. The crate should also be crash-tested so that your pet is secure in the case of an accident. Better still, use crash bags inside the crate which will give your dog that much extra protection, even if only against sudden heavy braking.
If you are going on a long journey, remember that Fido needs a comfort break and to be able to stretch his legs every two or three hours. This is especially important if he is in a crate where he cannot move around much. It is also important for you. A few minutes break every so often will keep you more alert on the road.
Remember also to ensure that you have water and a bowl with you. Even if you don’t need a drink, your dog may very well do. It is a good idea always to have water in the car, even if you are only going to the shops. You never know what might happen to delay you. If you keep water in the car or limo on a permanent basis, remember to refresh it every two or three days, even if it has not been used.