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Summer Vacation with Pets: How To Travel Safely With Your Furry Family Member


Summer has arrived, and with it comes the horde of people hitting the highway en route to their vacation destinations for days of rest, relaxation, fun, and adventure. While all parents will be sure to have their children safely secured in their age-appropriate car seats, booster chairs, or seat belts, there is one family member often left unprotected and at risk when going on holiday.

Need a hint? They have four paws, plenty of hair, and are thrilled to go on an adventure of any kind with their family.

Yep, you guessed it: the family pet. Whether you have a feline friend or a puppy sidekick, the family pet is an important part of any household, and nowadays, these furry pals are often taken right along with everyone else when it’s time to head out for a vacation. Unfortunately, few, if any, safety precautions are taken when climbing behind the wheel with a pet in tow, and that can lead to serious consequences for everyone involved. So, how can you travel safely with your pet this summer?

  1. Security is a huge component of traveling with a pet of any kind. While your dog or cat might be happier roaming the car freely, this is a risk to you, your pet, and anyone else in the vehicle. In the case of an accident, your pet can cause serious trauma to you or your passengers at the point of impact if they are left unsecured. Additionally, your pet can causean accident if they are allowed to roam freely and somehow distract or inhibit your driving. When traveling with a pet, make sure they are either crated securely in the vehicle or have some type of pet-friendly seatbelt/harness.
  1. Ever stopped for a quick bite at a drive-thru, or run into the gas station to grab a soda while you’re on the road? Well, your pet gets hungry and thirsty too, and if you are on the road for an extended period of time, don’t forget to bring food and water for them too. Portable water bowls and food containers are easy to find online or at your local pet superstore, and it takes little effort to throw a few bottles of water into the car to make sure your furry friend stays hydrated. Have a dog (or cat) that gets carsick? You might want to hold off on the food while traveling, but still make sure you take plenty of water!
  1. Stretching your legs is important, and it’s important for your dog too! While cats can usually move a little more freely inside of a carrier, dogs who are crated or fastened with a seatbelt in a car have little to no room to move around. Remember to stop frequently to let your pup stretch his legs and burn off a little energy. Just like small children, your pet can use a potty break. The best part? After a brief break for some exercise, your pet will probably be ready for a nice snooze while you continue on your journey.
  1. NEVER leave your pet unattended in a car, even if it’s for a short time. Vehicles can heat up quickly, even with the windows cracked, and can be fatal for your pet. Plan ahead and schedule stops along the trip are pet friendly, or confirm there’s a place you can tie up your pet without having to leave them in a vehicle alone.
  1. Keep your information updated. Making sure your pet’s tags and I.D. are up-to-date and securely fastened to his or her collar is a vital part of any trip, whether it’s down the road to the vet’s office or across the country on an adventure. Additionally, it’s important to get your pet micro chipped if you haven’t already, so they can find their way home in the case that they get lost or stolen.

We hope these tips will keep your furry family members safe and happy during your travels this summer. To be prepared for anything that comes your way, have our contact information in your wallet before you hit the road. Accidents can happen anywhere, and just as your pet needs protection, so do you. If you experience an automobile accident during your summer travels and end up with a mountain of paperwork that you don’t understand, give us a call! At Sessums Law Group, we will help you navigate the rough waters of insurance claims and legal paperwork to ensure that you get the compensation and representation you deserve.

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