Ricochet News

Road safety when travelling with pets

By Jesica Slabbert - Jan 19, 2018
Road safety when travelling with pets

When travelling with the family pet, motorists need to keep in mind the potential dangers for both the driver as well as the pet.

Animals tend to cause distractions to the driver and sudden stops can be harmful or may even kill the pet.

In recent times, more and more people consider their pets as members of the family. There are even special pet travel products that have been made recently to help making travel with pets easier and safer.

There are many pets that become agitated and discomforted when travelling in a car, as an owner you need to make sure you know how to handle them properly for the sake of their wellbeing as well as your own.

Before travelling with your pet you need to consider:

  • Is it a good idea to take your pet on holiday with you? For you or the pet?

  • Making sure your pet is comfortable travelling by car. If not try taking them out for a few trips to get them prepared.

  • If you want to go across the border with your pet you need to make sure you have pet's proof of rabies vaccination and their current health certificate to hand.

  • If your animal is either very old, young, sick, recovering from surgery or pregnant, then you should probably leave them at home for their own sake.

  • On the day of the trip be sure to not stray from your pets usual feeding routine. A sudden change will make them feel uneasy.

  • Keep your pets favourite toys and food on hand. If they start to stress out being surrounded by familiar things will calm them.

When you have considered all this and still intend to travel with your pet, you need to take into account your pets health for the trip:

  • Once you have decided to take your pet on the trip, be sure to take them to your vet for a check-up on their general fitness and ability to travel.

  • Make sure your pet has up-to-date vaccinations.

  • Be sure to carry water with you for your pet in case other water sources are unavailable.

  • Make sure to stop every few hours and let your pet out to stretch their legs and get some exercise.

  • Avoid letting your pet stick their head out of the car window. Grit and dust can end up in their eye which can lead to a serious injury or infection. Either keep your window closed or slightly open if it’s hot.

  •  Never leave your pet alone in the car. This is the most common cause of death and heatstroke for most animals as the temperature can soar when left in a closed car.

  • Keep a First-Aid kit handy with medication for your pet. Pack any essential from bandages, gauze squares, antiseptic cream and anti-diarrhoea tablets. Keep your vet’s contact details on hand in case of an emergency.

  •  Make sure you know where to find the local vet at your holiday destination in case of emergencies.