Buckle-Up and Keep Them Inside The Car

When you and your family go for a ride, everyone "buckles-up" for safety. The same should go for your family pet.

Animals should never ride loose in the car (or in the back of a pickup truck). First, small animals can crawl behind gas or brake pedals and cause you to have an accident. Or animals sitting on the lap of a driver can easily interfere with steering. Second, in an accident, your pets could be injured or thrown from the car, because they are not secured. Third, because your pets will be frightened in an accident, they could easily get loose and run into traffic.

Special seat belts to accommodate a dog's size and shape are now available from most pet supply stores. Human seat belts can be very dangerous for dogs, since they are made to secure the human figure, not something with four legs. Crates are available for cats and dogs who won't sit in a seatbelt.

And make sure your dog rides completely inside the car, just like everyone else in the family. Pets who ride with their head out the window are in danger of injury from debris flying into their eyes, nostrils, ear canals, or throat. Common signs of injury to the eyes include watering, redness, swelling, or rubbing with their paws or against the floor or furniture (like the side of the bed).

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