What could be better than hitting the open road for a summer trip? Bringing your pet along for the ride! Traveling with pets can be a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous for your pet if you aren’t properly prepared. Studies show that hundreds of pets die each year due to heat exhaustion after being left in parked vehicles. What might seem like just a couple of minutes to run into a convenience store, pay for gas or hit the restroom can be an eternity to a dog that is left inside a hot car.
There are other concerns as well, such as properly securing your pet in the vehicle during long car rides and being prepared by visiting your local veterinary clinic in Dartmouth prior to a trip out of the area. Veterinary care in Massachusetts is different than the issues and concerns that pet owners have in other parts of the country. For example, some areas treat their pets for heartworm, while others do not as it is extremely rare or only a concern if they go out of their immediate area.
This article is meant to be a “starter guide” to help you understand some of the needs and issues that will help you when traveling with pets. As always, however, a trip to your Southeastern Massachusetts emergency vet at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth, MA, will provide you with all of the professional tips, advice and medical treatment required to help you and your pet have a safe and happy trip together. No amount of advice online can be as beneficial as a face-to-face consultation with your vet.
Leaving Pets Inside Vehicles
Did you know that it takes just 10 minutes for the temperature inside your vehicle to rise by 20 degrees? In 20 minutes it can jump by 30 degrees, much hotter than the outside temperature. After 60 minutes, it can raise by 40 degrees. While it might be a nice 75 degree day for you and your family outdoors, inside a hot car that can mean temperatures of well over 115 degrees or more!
Scientific testing reveals that cracking the windows will make very little to no difference in the way that heat rises inside of a vehicle and leaving the A/C on while you go inside a restaurant can leave your pet open to all sorts of other potential dangers and problems. If you are just out running errands around town and will be getting out of your car for any reason or for any length of time, it is important to just leave your pets at home.
While out on the road for vacation or a big trip, bringing along a second person to watch the dog inside the cooled vehicle while you use the restroom or go in somewhere to get food is the best, most ideal situation. Other alternatives include visiting pet friendly locations that will allow you to bring your pet in with you or hitting drive-through restaurants instead of going indoors to help keep your pet safe.
Safety and Securing Your Pet in a Vehicle
People are required to wear seat belts to prevent injury during an accident or other potentially dangerous situation. Pets should also be properly restrained while inside of your vehicle, either by using a secure harness or placing your pet inside of a carrier when traveling with pets. Speak with your veterinary clinic in Dartmouth about suggested solutions for your specific situation to avoid having to get veterinary care in Massachusetts for your pet following an accident or an incident. Proper restraints can also prevent an accident, as a loose pet could interfere with the accelerator or brake pedals and pets that are sitting in laps could be injured by airbags, block the view of the road or jump out of a window.
Not only can pets that are not properly restrained become injured in an accident or ultimately become the cause of an accident, but they are also likely to be thrown from the vehicle. Traveling with pets means looking out for your pet to ensure his or her safety at all times during the trip. Pets can be thrown out of windows, through the glass or run off when rescue services try to help you and your human companions out of the vehicle following an incident on the highway.
To schedule an appointment with your Southeastern Massachusetts emergency vet for advice regarding traveling with pets or for a complete check-up and veterinary care, contact Anchor Animal Hospital and Veterinary Clinic in Dartmouth. Just give us a call at 508-996-3731 and speak with one of our veterinary team members. We can help you with a wide variety of veterinary care in Massachusetts, including preventative treatments, proper care and safety advice, regular check-ups, vaccinations and much more.