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Travel Tips for Dogs

Taking a road trip with your pup can be a wonderful experience, especially during this magical time of year. Preparing for the trip and taking safety precautions will ensure a great holiday and quality time spent with your dog.

Traveling Necessities

You don’t drive without your seatbelt on, and most likely your car has airbags to keep you safe. You also worry about the safety of your human passengers—you would never, ever consider driving a block with a 10-pound baby loose in the front seat of a car. You know that if you were in a car accident with that baby, chances are that the child would end up with severe injuries. A lot of scary things happen to a small body in an accident: the force of the collision, flying into a windshield unrestrained, the explosion of the airbag. It’s illegal to allow a baby to ride loose in the front seat of a car because it’s so dangerous.

It’s just as dangerous for your 10-pound dog. Your dog should ride in a crate in the back seat. The crate must be securely held in place with a seatbelt. Of course this doesn’t seem as fun or joyful as riding with your little dog on your lap. But you will never forgive yourself if you’re driving in your car and your little buddy dies because he wasn’t in a safe place.

Large dogs may be safe enough with restraint from a doggie seat belt, but that’s not enough for a little dog. A seatbelt doesn’t protect the small dog from the explosion of an airbag. Always, always, always have your dog ride in his crate, tucked safely away from deploying airbags!

The crate for your car can be a sturdy plastic crate or a well-constructed wire one. I leave my dogs’ crates in the car all the time, so I just pop them into their crates, and we’re off on our road trip to have a great time. Buy a crate today for you car, and always use it. If you ever have that fender-bender and the airbags deploy, you will be so grateful that your dog was someplace safe.

Safety Precaution

Lock Your Doors and Roll Up Your Windows. It’s easy for bad people to steal little dogs from a car. All it takes is for someone to reach in and grab your sweet guy. I met a woman whose small dog was stolen from her car when she went into the gas station to pay for gas. Never leave your dog alone in an unlocked car, and don’t leave him alone with the windows opened a bit for safety—you may return to an empty car.

Excerpted from The Little Dogs Beauty Book© 2006 T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Used by Permission.

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