Parents strap their children into car seats every day. Veterinarians are urging parents to remember pets are family members too when they're strapping in their kids!
This week is Child Passenger Safety Week. Veterinarians from BluePearl Veterinary Partners suggest using this opportunity to adopt safer driving habits to protect pets in the family as well.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Veterinarians from BluePearl are also familiar with seeing pets that have been injured or that have died as the result of a car crash.
"Pets are members of the family too, which makes this a great time to address driving and traveling safely with pets," said Dr. Neil Shaw, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners. "By paying attention to these simple tips, hopefully traffic accidents, human injuries and pet injuries can be avoided."
Here are some dog riding safety tips from BluePeark Veterinary Partners:
• Front seats are for adult passengers only. Pets and small children should ride in the back seat, safely secured. Never ride with a pet in your lap, which takes attention off of the road and puts you, your pet, and others in jeopardy. Airbags can severely injure pets as well as small children.
• Never let a dog ride in the back of a pickup truck unsecured.
• Pets should ride in crates that are properly secured. Restraints and seatbelts for dogs may not prevent injury in an accident.
• Pets need to keep their heads inside while the car is moving. Debris, bugs and other flying objects can damage your pet's eyes or even cause serious injury or death.
• Never leave your pet in a car unattended. Even if you leave on the air conditioner in the summer or heater in the winter, these can fail, leaving your pet vulnerable to life-threatening conditions. Additionally, pets left alone in cars may attract pet thieves or car thieves.
• Plan ahead and make plenty of rest stops. When taking a break, make sure your pet is on a secure leash and is wearing identification.
• Many hotels are now pet-friendly so you may wish to consider breaking up a long drive with an overnight stop to give everyone a chance to rest.
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