Travel safety tips for furry Friends

Posted by: Probono Category: Health, Lifestyle

Travel safety tips for furry Friends

There’s been such a massive increase in South African road incidents and the education around road safety is really on the rise, but are you aware of the road safety tips for pooches? Yes, there are actually a whole lot of safety tips to make sure that your friend is safe in the event of the unthinkable happening, and we want to make sure that you’re well-informed, so that you can focus on the fun!

One of the very best things about living in South Africa is the awesome sunshine and beautiful places that we can take our fur friends to for fun outings. Whether you’re headed for a day in the park with friends, a walk on the beach in the sand and surf with your four-legged bestie or simply just a trip to a local market, taking your dog along adds to the pleasure, for both you and them!

Here are some tips and tricks to keep tails wagging, safely and securely, for all your passengers.

Buckle up your good boy!

These days its so easy to find an awesome range of doggie friendly carseats, seatbelts and harnesses at most local pet stores, for very reasonable prices. These are important items that can save your four-legged friends life, and also your own. Trying to navigate the roads is hard enough these days, but the added movements of an excited hound while you drive can be deadly, so keeping them contained and strapped in is really in the best interests of everyone involved.

Back seat bow wows

Back seats are best for your barkers! If you’re carrying one small dog, pop him in the back seat and use either a folded seat back to raise his level, or place an elevated carseat in the centre. In the event of a bumper bashing, the centre of the back seat is the safest place for your dog, so be sure that the carseat you choose includes the option to secure it to the car’s centre seatbelt to keep him safely in his seat at all times.

For medium to larger dogs, always pace them in the back seat or on the forward-folded platform behind you, with a seatbelt harness tethered to the car seatbelts. This safety measure will keep them from trying to join you up front, which they love to do! This will also make sure that they don’t interfere with your concentration or your ability to steer safely, your visibility and control of the vehicle.

Front seat drivers

Just like small children, front passenger seat driving needs to be thought about carefully when it comes to big and small buddies. This is not only because they get very excited and sometimes unruly, but because your airbags could be very harmful to them, even lethal.

If your paw-some pup is accustomed to riding in the front, don’t forget to have a look at your airbag situation, because they can be variable. Older cars may not have them; newer cars may have ones that cannot be turned off. Understand how your airbags work in the passenger seat and if in doubt, move your dog to the back, rather safe than sorry!

If you’re sure that your airbags are safe for doggie passengers, then don’t forget to also get the appropriate clips and seatbelt attachments for your dog, these are just an added measure as sometimes the force of impact can cause straps to snap and make injuries far far worse.

This might sound like a whole lotta work and effort, but it only takes a few seconds to secure your dog properly when you head off for some fun in the sun. Make sure that you all arrive alive, bright eyed and bushy tailed!

Safe and shiny eyes

Remember that one of the most common injuries our vets see is foreign objects in our dogs’ eyes. Even though your dog goes crazy for the wind in his hair, for his safety you should keep the windows closed or at least only opened partially, to protect his eyes from injury. If you really want to give him some window time, then make sure that you only do it in parking lots or on quiet open roads – highway or busy road driving with your friend out the window is a serious no no in terms of safety.

Batten down the hatches

Finally, check for any loose items and objects in the cabin area of the car. Anything heavy enough to cause harm should be strapped down, placed on the floor area, or moved to the boot where they are least likely to come into contact with your dog. In the event of a collision, these objects become much heavier, and a flying object can cause serious injury.

Travel time!

Some of the above tips may sound a bit extreme, but just like you would take these kids of precautions when travelling with your kids, so you should take them for your fur kids.

Keeping every single member of the family safe and secure in transit ensures that days out can be enjoyed to the max for all involved.

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