MANILA, Philippines – Ask any dog owner and they will tell you that their four-legged companions are more than just a pet. They have gone past just being animals and are now more often seen as a loyal friend or even an integral member of the family.
Below are some travelling tips to help keep these pets safe inside the car.
1. Keep your co-pilot out of the cockpit
Your dog may be your co-pilot, but they won’t be doing any driving. It’s important to keep your dog off your lap and out of the front seat, as this can cause doggie distractions for the driver and even hurt your furry friend if it’s unrestrained during sudden movements.
Give them a VIP cabin
Some dogs stay put, but other dogs like to bounce around. There’s a lot of stimulation for your canine friend on the road, so drivers should err on the side of caution. Keep your dog safe in a well-ventilated crate or carrier, or restrained with a pet safety belt properly attached to their harness.
Train your dog to like driving…
…but this doesn’t mean teaching your dog to drive. Teach your dog to look forward to car rides by taking short drives to fun locations, like the park or a nature hike where your dog can have fun and enjoy the open space. You can also reward your dog with things like doggie treats to encourage good behavior and generate a positive association with driving.
Don’t bail on your buddy
We all know the feeling of getting into our car after it’s been baking in the sun. Leaving your dog in a car while you run errands can pose serious risks for your pet’s health and safety – plus, it’s not nice at all! If you have to leave your dog for a few minutes, make sure the dog has proper ventilation and some water to stay cool.
Since you’re behind the wheel you can stop for a break whenever you need, but your dog can’t tell you when it gets thirsty. Make sure to stop regularly to keep your dog hydrated and give it plenty of opportunities to use the tree trunk.
Stay on digestive track
Remember to feed your dog a few hours before you hit the road, and take him for a walk before you leave. On long trips, be prepared for meals on the road with food and a doggie bowl. You can also pack some treats to keep your doggie buddy happy during the trip.
Bring home on the road
Just because you’re leaving home doesn’t mean you can leave the basics behind. Try to recreate a familiar environment for your dog by bringing along its favorite toys and other necessities. Just as you would pack for yourself, pack everything your dog would need at home.
“We recognized that a lot of pet owners here are not well informed of the safety risks that they and their pets are in when they travel in a vehicle together. Here at Ford, we are committed to equip our vehicles with class-leading safety features that will keep all our passengers safe and comfortable, including our loyal pets,” said Joseph Ayllón, Assistant Vice President for Communications, Ford Philippines.
Ford, along with dog owners all over the Philippines, celebrated World Pet Day last September 28.