Road Rules for Traveling With Your Pets

Hitting the road with Rover this summer? Protect your pet with these safe-driving tips from AAA

Hitting the road with Rover this summer? Protect your pet with these safe-driving tips from AAA:

1. Buckle up
Your pup may prefer riding shotgun or spreading out across the backseat, but an unrestrained pet is as vulnerable to injury in the event of an accident as an unbelted human. Purchase a harness specially designed for dogs of all sizes online or in pet stores, or secure your cat or small dog in its carrier with a seatbelt. Opt for a pet divider as well as a harness for pooches traveling in the rear of an SUV.

2. Tag ’em
Since you’ll be away from home, double check your pet’s ID tags to make sure they include your cell phone number. When you arrive at your destination, type up a temporary tag listing the address of your hotel, campsite, or vacation rental.

3. Take a test drive
If the only place your dog ever goes in the car is the dreaded vet, he may not be as excited as you are about your impending road trip. Ensure a happier drive for everyone by getting him used to car travel with a series of shorter practice drives in advance of the big trip.

4. Fuel up
Gobbling a full bowl of food before a long car ride is probably not the greatest idea for Fido or Fluffy. Instead, give your pet a small serving of food and some water a few hours before you plan to leave. Be sure to walk your dog before hitting the highway, and bring along bottled water and a travel bowl for pit stops.

5. No rubber-necking
While there are few things less adorable than a dog leaning its head out of the window of a moving car to catch the breeze, there’s nothing cute about an injured pooch; and there are many potential dangers in this scenario. Be safe and keep Spot’s snout away from open windows or, if necessary, roll ’em up.

6. Stick together
Never leave a pet unattended in a car. Even with the windows cracked, on a hot day the interior can reach dangerous temperatures.

Source:, AAA New York

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest