Pet Travel Safety Tips by Kurgo

Pet Travel Safety Tips by Kurgo, the dog travel experts


As the weather gets nicer, it’s time for vacations – from Spring Break to Summer Road Trips. If you are like many dog owners, bringing your dog along is a given. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) 2017 National Pet Survey, 40% of Americans bring their dogs along on trips of two nights or more. While bringing dogs along can make the trip even that much more fun, it’s important to plan ahead for your dog’s safety and yours.

Buckle Up Everyone – Even Your Dog

You buckle yourself in. You buckle up your children. But do you buckle in your dog?

Loose dogs are dangerous in a moving vehicle. Many try to get into the front seat and ‘help’ drive or sit in your lap to see better. This can distract drivers and cause distracted driving accidents. A roaming dog can also distract drivers who are worried about whether their dog is eating the picnic or chewing up cargo. In addition, an unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert roughly 500 pounds of force on anything it hits, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert about 2,400 pounds of force. This can injure and even kill other humans in the car.

Your dog is also part of the family, right? So, they need to be buckled up for their own safety. If you use a crash-tested dog car harness, your dog is safely buckled up just like you.

Click it or ticket – did you know there are laws being put into place in the United States and across the globe making it illegal to drive with a loose pet?

Keep all Paws & Heads Inside the Car

Many dogs love to stick their heads out the window. However, Dr. Susan O’Dell, Kurgo Consulting Veterinarian, says “even though dogs ‘like it,’ it simply isn’t worth the risk of your pet possibly being clipped by a passing vehicle, having debris kicked up into their eyes or exposing their lungs to exhaust pollution.” By keeping your windows up, you also prevent any opportunity for your pet to hop out the window when the car is stopped.

Take Frequent Breaks to Hydrate

It’s important while driving to take frequent breaks – every 40 minutes-hour – to hydrate your dog and let them have a potty break. Many dogs have anxiety in the car and pant and slobber more. Dogs also don’t sweat, they pant, when overheated. They need to get water more frequently than normal. Be sure to bring along water and a dog travel bowl for them to get a drink. You can even get a pet travel bowl designed to be used while moving, such as the Kurgo Splash Free Wander Bowl. It has a unique shape and high sides so it won’t spill while the car is moving.

Never, Ever Leave Your Dog Alone

A dog should never be left in an unattended car, no matter the season. There are far too many deaths associated with dogs being left in cars. Consider that when the outside temperature is 70 degrees, the interior of the car can reach 89 degrees within 10 minutes and 104 degrees within 30 minutes.

Help Your Dog Always Find The Way Back Home

You should always make sure while traveling that your dog has tags with your mobile phone number and a microchip. We don’t like to think about it, but it’s very common for dogs to escape while at a rest stop or on an adventure hiking or walking in a strange place. You should consider also restraining your dog in the car before you open the car door, so he/she doesn’t take off after an interesting squirrel or panic in a strange place. If you are using a dog car harness, you are all set. Just attach their leash before unhooking their car harness. You can also tie a leash to a fixed point in the car to keep your dog restrained. Just make sure to only attach it to a dog harness and not a collar, as a short stop could choke your dog if using a dog collar.

Keeping it Clean

Let’s face it, dogs are happiest when they can get dirty! A great way to combat this is using a car seat cover that is waterproof and stain resistant. There are bench seat styles and hammock styles that provide a cozy spot for your dog to sleep. Be sure you choose one that can be easily wiped down or is machine washable.

For more tips, check out this Pet Travel Safety Tips Video.