The non-profit Car Care Council suggests the following tips for drivers planning a road trip with the family pet so that all passengers can remain comfortable in the close quarters of a vehicle interior.
“Before you and your pet hit the road, make sure your vehicle is both pet ready and road ready,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Take steps to keep your pet safe and conduct a pre-trip vehicle inspection, so you can have an enjoyable, low-stress trip with your pet in tow.”
According to the Humane Society, keep your pets in the backseat. The safest way for a dog to travel in the car is in a crate that has been anchored to the vehicle using a seatbelt or other secure means. Cats should remain in carriers. Never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck and make plenty of rest stop breaks.
Be sure to check your vehicle’s air conditioning (A/C) system before embarking on summer road trips. Driving with your windows closed and the A/C on will keep all passengers comfortable and protect your pet from sticking its head out the window. Do not leave pets unattended in the car, even with the windows slightly open, as inside temperatures soar and will endanger your pet.
Cleaning your vehicle’s interior will make for more comfortable travel with your pet. Heavy duty floor liners, water proof car seat covers and water repellent fabric or leather solutions will help protect your vehicle from pet hair, odors and other messes. Keep a kit in the trunk for on-the-spot cleanups, containing such items as upholstery or leather cleaner, glass cleaner, paper towels or rags and lint rollers. Place dryer sheets under the seats to help keep your car smelling fresh.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.