If you are a pet owner, you already know there are many instances when you need to transport your pet in a vehicle. What you may not be aware of when you ride with your pet, however, are the safety precautions you should consider. DriversLicenseAdvisors.org explains that it is not only important for responsible pet owners to consider pet safety when driving with pets, but the safety of others on the road as well. Furthermore, many states have specific distracted driving laws that dictate how pet owners should transport their pets, and failure to obey these regulations can result in expensive fines in some instances. Planning ahead and taking the right precautions within the confines of the law will keep you and your pet safe and happy.
Whether you are driving your pet to the vet or groomer or taking a road trip with Fido in tow, DriversLicenseAdvisors.org recommends the best ways to transport your pet in a vehicle below.
#1 Pet Transportation Crate
DriversLicenseAdvisors.org experts recommend pet owners transport pets in a specially designed transportation crate or kennel. A crate is an enclosed cage-style lodging that is comfortable for pets and keeps them secure. While crates vary in price and can be very affordable, you will want to make sure you select a crash-tested crate. You should transport your pet in an aluminum or plastic crate that is reinforced with fiberglass. Some crates feature crash bags for unexpected breaking, but these are not necessary. An appropriate sized transportation crate should allow your pet to stand up and turn around comfortably but should not be any larger. Secure the crate and allow for plenty of air circulation before driving with your pet.
#2 Pet Seatbelt
If a crate is not preferred, DriversLicenseAdvisors.org advises pet owners to secure pets in the back seat with a pet seatbelt. This harness-type safety device fastens around your pet and attaches to your vehicle’s seatbelt to keep your pet secure in the seat and free to smell the fresh air safely. Like transportation crates, pet auto harnesses come in a variety of options, but the best ones are crash-tested. Additionally, these products prevent excited pets from jumping around and distracting the driver, which is actually against the law in some states.
It is never recommended that you drive (or ride as a passenger) with your pet in your lap due to risk of injury should airbags deploy.
#3 Zip Line
A zip line attaches to a pet auto harness and restricts pet movements to a linear area for improved safety. It is better suited for instances when a seatbelt is not present, such as in the back of a flatbed pickup truck, but use of this product on the outside of a vehicle is only suggested as the best way to transport large dogs when no other option is feasible. Other pets can be safely secured using a zip line and harness inside of your vehicle. Attach the zip line to the hangers above the backseat windows to allow your pet more range of movement, while at the same time preventing your pet from entering the front seat.
The experts at DriversLicenseAdvisors.org urges pet owners to consult the laws regarding pet transportation in their specific state before utilizing any of these suggested methods.
#4 Pet Car Seat
For smaller pets, a pet car seat can be used in conjunction with a pet harness to increase the seat height for the pet. This provides your pet with a better view and a more comfortable ride.
#5 Mesh Pet Net
A mesh pet net can be installed between the front and back seats to transport pets. This claw-proof, see-through net makes it impossible for pets to cross from the back seat into the front seat, preventing distracted driving. While this option is not the most preferred way to transport your pet in a vehicle, it is a practical alternative if your pet cannot be harnessed.