If you can’t leave home without your little furry baby (or babies), then you’re probably going to have to take your cat or dog on a car ride at some point. However, travelling with pets in cars isn’t always easy, and can actually cause accidents if your not careful. So what do you need to know about taking your little one in the car?
Having an animal, whether it’s a cat or a dog, loose in the car is never a good idea. Cats in particular have a horrible habit of moving around the car whilst it’s in motion, and can even get under your feet or pedals. This is obviously dangerous. Cats should be boxed in cars, whether in a cage or specifically designed cat carrier. Dogs are a little easier to travel with, but even they should be restrained if possible. Tying a leash to a back door handle works, but there are even seatbelts specifically made for dogs that can be bought from pet shops.
Both dogs and cats can get car sick. This is far from pleasant during long journeys. Try to refrain from feeding your pet for three to six hours before a car journey. If your animal still gets ill, your vet can recommend a travel sickness drug for them. These drugs have the added side effect of relaxing your pet, so they might even sleep for the whole journey. There are some animals that simply don’t like being in the cars. Dogs are generally fine, but if your dog is one of the few that don’t like driving, then try putting him in a cage covered with a blanket. Alternatively, make sure that there is someone sitting in the backseat with him to comfort him. Cats tend to be worse. All cats are different, some like to see out of the window, some like to see their owner, some like to be in a box covered with a blanket, some like to be on the floor, others want to be on a seat. Experiment with different positioning for your cat carrier until you find one that works. If nothing works, you might just have to deal with it. It’s common for cats to meow in cars, and they usually stop after around an hour or so.
Never, ever leave your pets in the car during hot weather. In fact, try not to leave your pets in the car alone at all. Too many things can happen. If you must leave them, try not to be gone for more than thirty minutes, and make sure that you leave a window cracked. Don’t open the window too far, or you’re going to come back to a runaway pet.
Animals need to empty their bladders and bowels. If you’re travelling with a dog, make sure you take a break every couple of hours so that he can get a short work and do his business. Cats will probably be fine. Cats can go without using the toilet for around twenty four hours if they have to. If you’re taking longer trips, you can try buying disposable litter boxes from your pet shop. But a cat will rarely use a litter box in a car, so you’ll probably need to keep them for overnight stops in hotels or camping. Both dogs and cats should have treats available to them in the car. However, many will not eat during driving. Keep real food for when you stop, as it’s messy and probably won’t be touched. Also, keep a small bowl and water bottle handy for drinking.
Phil Turner is always horrified when he sees someone driving with a dog on her knee. He tries to stay away from people so stupid and views them as accidents waiting to happen. It is no wonder that insurance quotes are so high when this kind of driver behavior is so common.