Keeping Families Safe: Traveling with your pets

Keeping Families Safe: Traveling with your pets (WKEF/WRGT)

KEEPING FAMILIES SAFE: (WKEF/WRGT) - Summer may be winding down, but there's still plenty of time for people to hit the roads for one last fling.

When you load up the car, one of the things many people want to bring along is their furry friend, but AAA is reminding drivers that no matter how long or short your drive is, it's crucial to keep your pet safe.

Small dogs sometimes end up in their owner's laps, while bigger furry friends hand out in the back seat with their nose stuck into the wind. It may look cute, but it can be dangerous.

“It takes just a quick second to look away and have a problem," Northmont Animal Clinic veterinarian Nathan Dicke said.

He added having dogs loose in cars can be a huge distraction that puts you, your pet and others at risk.

“Even if at home if nice and calm and get in car you just never know what they might think they see and hear and may cause an unexpected reaction from them," he said.

Dicke said bigger dogs should be placed an elevated trunk or hatch where they can’t roam, or secured in the back seat with a harness.

You want that harness to be a snug fig but not too tight and you want to be able to get a couple fingers underneath, then the harness is secured to the vehicles seat belt.

“He can sit up, he can lay, he can do what he wants but it confines him a little bit and keeps everybody safe," Dicke said.

Also be sure your pet is leashed before opening the door at a rest stop to prevent him or her from breaking free.

For smaller dogs use a crate or carrier, which should be well ventilated. It should also be large enough that your pet can stand up and move around comfortably and small enough that your pet won't be tossed around the in the event of an accident.

Several states have laws on the book making it illegal to drive with a pet on your lap. Ohio is not one of them.

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