Tips for Traveling Safely With Pets

Dog-on-rail-2a II

By Jen Burklow

June is National Safety Month and the unofficial start of summer road-trip season. For many of us traveling means bringing pets along too; unfortunately, our furry companions can be driving distractions.

A 2011 online survey of 1,000 dog owners by AAA and Kurgo, a manufacturer of pet travel products, revealed 84 percent of respondents allowed their dogs to travel unrestrained in their vehicles; 65 percent admitted to engaging in distracting activities with their dog while driving.

In addition to being a distraction or becoming a projectile in a crash (at a driving speed of 35 mph, a 60-pound unrestrained dog can become a projectile exerting 2,700 pounds of pressure), an unrestrained pet is likely to be thrown into traffic following an accident — often leading to a lost pet, severe injury or death.

Before you head out on a summer road trip with your dog, along with restraining Fido, remember these travel dos and don'ts:

  • Put small pet carriers on the floor between the front and rear seats, only secure with a seat belt if they were designed for use with seat belts.
  • Don't put a pet carrier on the front passenger seat; airbags could crush it during an accident.
  • Don't leave a pet in a parked vehicle in the heat, even with windows cracked; heat stroke can be deadly and can happen in minutes.
  • Microchip your pet and have a tag with your information, including cellphone number, on all collars.
  • Carry vaccination/health records in case of an emergency.
  • Have a pet first-aid kit.
  • Bring an in-car litter box for cats on long road trips.
  • Locate a veterinarian near your destination(s).

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BORING. In addition, PUT has already talked about this before. This site is getting too lazy for my taste.

@LocoGTR - I agree 100% . More regurgitated press releases and zero attempt at moderating the blogs.

It bears repeating though.

Too many times do I see stupid idiots driving with their dogs in the back of their truck. One of them made headlines just a few days ago.

@MaXx - if one is to tether their dogs then they need to keep the tether short enough to keep the dog from getting too close to the box edge.

BTW - the story you posted stated the owner was also charged with a DUI.

I will fan the flames for the right wingers out their -

"As of June 20, Sanchez was still in jail, but if he does bond on Forsyth County Sheriff charges, he has an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold. This means possible deportation for the Mexican native."

A drunken illegal alien driving a licenced Georgia pickup truck with a dog.

Most trucks and cars nowadays let you turn off the passenger airbag and I use the front passenger seat in conjunction with a seat belt harness. That will change if I ever get a crew cab though.

Another thing I see people doing a lot is putting their dogs in the cargo area of their SUV however those areas are designed to absorb impact in a crash. In other words, they're crumple zones.

Another problem is even if the pet survives a crash, if they aren't restrained in a vehicle by using a seatbelt harness or kennel/carrier, I have heard of them running from the accident scene out of fear or disorientation.

LouBC, have you ever been in a wreck and once the dust settles found your wristwatch laying on the floor by your feet?
A tether is not safe. That can easily get cut in a crash or even decapitate the animal.

@MaXx -
I've been to a pedestrian collision where the victim's rollerblades and socks were sitting where they were hit.

Decapitate an animal? Perhaps more likely a de-gloving.

I do agree that measures should be taken to secure any object inside a vehicle or in the box.

Kennels or crates are preferred but does anyone have proof that restraint harnesses for dogs actually work?

A dog will become a projectile inside of a crate.

As far as a loose dog wandering off in an MVC, they are more likely to defend their owner. I've heard of police K9 dogs having to be shot because they won't let anyone approach their injured police handler.

BTW - I worked 21 years as a paramedic.

i dont think people realize that the 2014 rams have the 8hp standard on a lot more trims than the 2014s. the 2013 sport r/t was carryover from 2012 minus hydraulic power steering. the 2014 is no longer a stand along trim either as it is rather a sport reg cab short bed 2wd with an r/t badge in the grille and standard 3.92 axle ratio behind the standard for all sports 8hp transmission. what makes it not a stand along trim anymore is the fact that on the window sticker and ram website call it a sport reg cab and not a sport r/t anymore. btw they also come with 22 inch rims only on the reg cab 2wd/2013 r/ts. a 2013 sport reg cab 2wd is marketed as an r/t and has 65rfe with 4.10 gears. the express is competition to the stx because the express is a dressed up tradesman as the stx is a dressed up xl. why has no one noticed the stand out figures? the sport is the fx2 competitor as the fx2 tremor compares to the sport "r/t". why has PUTC failed to test the 2014 ram sport reg cab? why not against the tremor? what about an stx 5.0 vs hemi express? why not tell everyone that the 8 speed with standard 3.92s on sports is better than 6 speed 4.10s? the express is a poor mans sport. in fact it looks like the 2009-2012 sports. and tradesmans to slts have the premium headlights of the 2009-2012 trucks. premium trucks now have projector headlights. the express is a last gen sport with a modern tradesman interior. and why has ford made the tremor? this is ford's way of testing the waters to see if a specialty upscale sport truck is a viable option as the next f150 is likely to be the complete truck with every trim one can think of. in fact the last pic of the 2015 f150 everyone was saying it was a lariat with a sport package? is the fx2/fx4 gone? is there just gonna a sport package across the entire line regardless of trim? bottom line for this article? apples to oranges. compare a tremor to a sport reg cab or an stx to an express or a stx to a tremor or a sport to an express but never a tremor to an express, got it mark williams, putc, and every blogger spam bot or not? in any comparison use the 8speed ram as the 6 speed is on its way out. the 6 speed is comparable to chevy 4l60e rather than the latest 6speeds. knock of the kickdown and 2nd overdrive and bam u got a 4l60e (in general). if you guys dont believe me just look at the ratios for the transmissions that i posted earlier in the blog. a sport would imo out run this tremor as the first gear in the 6 speed is almost identical to the 2nd gear in the 8 speed. in the 8 speed its all about the first gear why it would cut the tremors @$$. now, an ecoboost truck weighs more, has less hp, costs more to build, has no increase in mpg and is some cases is worse. so someone tell me why the ecoboost is better than a hemi? it is not. rather the ecoboost is an alternative to a v8 as nissan and toyota are to the big three. btw truck people are diehard fans so a ford fan is gonna buy an f150 ecoboost or not and guess what ford puts in there trucks? why has an interesting blog gone to waste because no one sees the points to debate? why are there so many spam bots like BAFO and the fake Lou? if BAFO was being plagerized he would by a spam bot and he was not the spam bot himself he would change his name and clean up his act so people would quit trying to run him off. all he ever talks about is the uaw, trx4 tom, denvermike, and zivera. why not talk trucks BAFO? yes you can talk trucks on north american truck website but why? what are your motive? why dont you do anything mark williams? why dont you compare apples to apples mark williams? why so little tests throughout the year? why no ecoboost vs ecodiesel for eco comparison? why no tremor vs sport reg cab for sport comparison? why no reg cab long bed work trucks for payload comparison? why no outdoorsman vs z71 vs fx4 vs trd vs pro 4x for enhanced traction and protection package comparisons? why no crew cab 4x4 v6 truck comparison? why is it only an occasional fully loaded half ton only when a new one comes out or some $100,000 truck comparison? not everyone can own, rent, or need a 1 ton truck? and i all of this is why i never post here anymore because of the lack of reviews, late information, copied information, and all of the lame and sour blog posters. Mark Williams why do you want to run off your most intelligent and relevent bloggers? i want answer. thats right i want to see the blue around your name so i know its you and i want an answer. i think none of the guys here realize that the last powerwagon review was from motortrend. putc did nothing but copy and paste. go to truck trend and look if you guys dont believe me. one way or another im gonna get my point across even if i have to multipost like BAFO.

Placing and animal in a metal box is quite inhumane.

Pets should always be restrained, not just for their safety, but the safety of all in a vehicle.

I do think a more cage like enclosure is a much better place in the back of a pickup, if not a short leash so the animal can't even place it's front legs on the top of the sides of the pickup.

Pets have no rights, the Constitution doesn't say: All dogs are created equal. It says all "MEN"
I don't understand if people love their pets why would they allow them to suffer being locked up in vehicle with the windows up?
And when someone puts a sick pet out of its misery with a 30-06 to the head they are the bad ones?

Great story for a Pets website.

The all new 2015 aluminum F-150 is safe for both people and pets!

@Jen Burklow,

Thanks for the picture showing us how to transport a pet unsecured and in the bed of a pickuptruck!

This is really helpful.

The safest thing would be to leave your dog, dogs at home. But other than that, just take extreme precaution like you should anyways. There's no guarantees in life, but some small risk (vs leaving them at home all the damn time) is totally worth it. And dogs absolutely love to travel, ride around town with their head in wind, and running amok in the woods, trail or water.

Here's the rascals now:

From looking at the photo, the box in the back appears to be a combination tool box / pet carrier. That's just great if you want to cook the dog. You're talking about carrying the dog around in summer months and that appears to be a slightly vented aluminum dog box which is way too hot to put a dog in during the summer.

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