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How to Keep Your Pet Safe during Car Rides

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Pet adoptions increased nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many new owners do not know how to care for their pets properly. According to a Rover report, more than 60 percent of recent adoptions were made by people with little to no experience in proper pet care. As people begin traveling this summer – likely with their furry friends – inexperienced pet owners are likely to neglect their animals simply out of ignorance.

According to Nissan, over 71 percent of consumers are more comfortable traveling by car than by plane, likely as an after-effect of the slowly-dying pandemic. Still, now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, many are desperate to take this opportunity to get outside and enjoy the outdoors uninhibited. These families will likely take their new furry friends along with them.

New pet owners may assume that simply keeping their pet in the back seat during a long car ride is sufficient, but this can be very uncomfortable for both the pet and other passengers. It is also unsafe because, in the event of a car accident, the pet will not be secured and may suffer injuries or even injure others within the car’s cabin.

To get ahead of this issue, Nissan released some tips and tricks on keeping canines safe during long car rides.

Options for Securing Your Pets in the Car

There are several options for safely securing your pets into your car. While Nissan’s tips mainly focus on dogs, several of these options also have versions specifically designed for cats. It is best to research what will fit best with your pet’s size, weight, and needs before deciding on an option.

  • Chest-Style Harness: The seat belt usually loops through the harness, though installation varies between Doing some research into what belt type works best for your dog can be instrumental in creating a safe and comfortable car ride for them. It is also advisable to consult the instruction manual on proper installation and general information about the harness you choose.
  • Tether/Pet Seat Belt: Sometimes called pet seat belts, pet restraint tethers are inexpensive and quick to install. The tether simply clips to the pet’s collar or harness at one end while the other end is attached to the vehicle, usually through a seat belt buckle or child seat anchor.
  • Crates and Carriers: Small dogs can be contained inside portable carriers secured in the back seat using seat belts and pillows. They can also be placed on the floor behind one of the front seats. For larger dogs, a sturdier kennel can be secured in the cargo area of SUVs or trucks. In either case, the crate, carrier, or kennel should be fastened to the vehicle as securely as possible
  • Cargo Area Dividers: These are especially useful for larger dogs secured outside of occupant space while traveling. The pet needs to be harnessed in the cargo area, but the divider ensures that any shifting cargo does not negatively impact your pet’s space during the drive.

“By keeping our pets secured in our vehicles, we can ensure that our passengers are safe too,” says Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert of Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group-Gore.

Not all of these solutions will work perfectly for your situation, but keeping everyone comfortable and safe during your future summer endeavors is worth trying at least one of these options. Happy traveling!

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