Ah, Memorial Day weekend. The gateway to summer. The first weekend you can spend poolside. The first time all year where it’s essentially required to break out the grill. Many Americans travel to see family, or just to get away from home for a few days over the weekend. It’s estimated that over 38 million Americans travel each Memorial Day, and many of those people bring their dogs with them for the weekend getaway. Here’s our top travel tips for those of your that are bringing your pup along for the drive!
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT.
Leash, collar, tags, just for starters. If it’s your first time and you don’t know how your dog does in the car, talk to your vet and see if they recommend any precautions.
THINK OF TRAVELING WITH DOGS AS THE SAME AS TRAVELING WITH YOUNG CHILDREN.
You can drive for four hours at a time, but they might not be able to. Let them get outside, play some fetch at a rest stop (with a leash on), and use the bathroom. Think of it as taking the scenic route!
DOGS ROAMING FREE IN THE CAR AREN’T SAFE IN THE CASE OF AN ACCIDENT. OR CAN CAUSE ONE.
Even if your dog is the goodest good boy and has never been a distraction while driving, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Plus, an unrestrained dog in case of a sudden stop can cause injury to your pup, and no one wants that. Crates can be the easiest and safest solution for this.
IF YOUR DOG IS TOO BIG FOR A CRATE, USE A HARNESS DESIGNED FOR SEAT BELTS.
You can purchase harnesses designed for hooking up with seatbelts. These harnesses prevent the dog from becoming hurt in case of sudden stops, and from roaming free in the cabin of your vehicle. Make sure if you buy one, that it’s designed for seat belt use, like this one.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR ALONE IN THE SUN.
It’s no secret that cars heat up quickly in the sun, but still, people leave their dogs in their car. Just don’t. It doesn’t matter if it’s just five minutes. In that time, your car can heat up by twenty or more degrees. The chart above demonstrates just how hot your car can get in minutes, and it is cruel and unsafe to leave your dog in those conditions.
We hope that you have safe travel for all your family members this Memorial Day!