This article originally appeared on my ongoing series of articles for Flexcin International, Inc as The Car Ride – Essential Safety Tips on Traveling with your Pet
As pets get older, you’re going to spend more time on the road visiting veterinary hospital for examination, diagnostic testing, and medical treatment of your pet. While in transit, an ill or injured pet is less able to stabilize itself when conditions are shaky, which can cause serious trauma to an unrestrained pet. Are you keeping your pet safe while traveling?
Here are my recommendations for safe vehicular travel with your mobility-compromised pet.
Graceful Entry and Exit
Jumping onto or from the elevated height of the back seat or cargo area, especially SUVs and trucks, can easily injure a mobility challenged dog.
To reduce the chance of injury while getting in or out of a car, use a ramp to provide a smooth incline and decline to the car’s seat or hatchback.
If your dog does not tolerate a ramp, then reduce the height to which he must move by having your dog land on the floor of the back seat. From there, he can either stay on the floor or climb a short distance onto the back seat.
A harness can also be used to support your pet’s chest, abdomen, and pelvis to permit safer and more guided movement.
Keep It in the Seat
That same harness that is used to aid you dog’s mobility can also attach to the seat belt to securely restrain him to the seat. The harness should limit mobility so that his feet stay on the seat, yet permit comfortably siting and lying down.
Even small dogs or cats can ride in style and safety using a harness, but choose an option that keeps a petite pooch or feline friend securely enveloped in protective seat (like a child’s car seat).
Crate or gate your pet
Some dogs, and certainly most cats, prefer the sense of confinement provided by a sturdy carrier, which provides a safe space that prevents them from being tossed around the car should an accident occur. Alternatively, if your car has a hatchback, place a gate between the backseat and cargo area to partition your pet in a space restricting their mobility.
I suggest the using a carrier (that should also be firmly attached your car’s interior), as it keeps a pet better restrained and reduces the likelihood of being tossed around the car during a sudden stop or fender bender.
Pay attention to the road
Proper animal restraint during car rides is a key component of responsible pet ownership and vehicular operator safety. Don’t permit your pet to be a driving distraction. For the sake of our pets’ health and quality of life, it’s vital that we take this matter seriously, as traveling creates many circumstances where injury can occur to both animals and humans.
While you’re not on the road
Additionally, if your young or elderly pet needs joint support, choose a product like FlexPet to safely reducing reliance on medications having side effects, such as Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) or other more “pain numbing” drugs (Tramadol, Gabapentin, etc.).
FlexPet a nutraceutical (“food containing health-giving additives and having medicinal benefits”) that improves joint health and enhances mobility. FlexPet contains a unique combination of natural anti-inflammatory (Bromelain, MSM) and joint lubricating (CM8) ingredients along with digestive enzymes to enhance the absorption of nutrients.
It’s the choice for my pooch and patients, so I hope you’ll choose it for your canine and feline companions.
Thank you for reading this article. Your questions and comments are completely welcome (I’ll respond).
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Copyright of this article (2012) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.