Safe Car Travel with Your Dog
Traveling with a pet by car involves more than just loading the animal in the back seat and motoring off, especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time. No matter how long or short your trip might be, it is important to keep safety in mind for you, your loved ones and your pets. Here are a few car travel safety tips to help you prepare for a smooth and safe trip.
Prepare For Your Trip.
Get your pet ready for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car. Let him become comfortable with the car so he feels safe there. When you are ready to leave prep a pet-friendly travel kit. Some of the basics you will want to bring are: food, water, a bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first-aid, and any travel documents. Pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity. Be sure to pack plenty of water, and avoid feeding your pet in a moving vehicle. Your pet's travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure, and always opt for bottled water. Drinking water from an area he or she isn’t used to could result in stomach discomfort.
Turn Off Power Windows
If you have a car with power windows, it’s very possible for your dog to accidentally open them. This may seem relatively harmless, especially if your dog enjoys sticking his head out in the breeze, but overexcited dogs have been known to jump out of moving vehicles, and simply taking a wrong step could lead to the window being closed on their neck and choking them. Keeping the windows shut is much safer for everyone, so be sure to check your power windows before traveling.
If you’re like me, you can power through a long drive in an effort to get to the destination quickly. However, traveling with a dog can be like traveling with a child. Even if you can push yourself to keep going for hours on end, your dog will likely have different needs. Plan to take a break every two to three hours. Give your dog a chance to get out, stretch their legs, and take care of their business. And while you’re at it, enjoy the break!
As we all know, dogs need regular access to water. This is vital on a long road trip, but even if you’re just headed out for a quick errand, it’s a good idea to bring along some water for your dog. Having a bowl that you keep in the car can be very helpful as well but in a bind, your cupped hand is just fine. The key here is to plan ahead and ensure you have some clean drinking water in the car.
Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle.
On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze. It can be very tempting to leave your dog in the car, especially when on a long trip but don’t do it. We’ve all seen too many news stories of the sad consequences of doing this. Keep a leash with you and find pet-friendly stops.
Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier.
The ideal way to travel is to have your dog safely secured in a crate. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. Secure your pet’s crate so it will not slide or shift in the event of an abrupt stop. There are many options to choose from when looking at a travel dog crate, however few stack up to general safety standards when you look into them.
10 Requirements for Safe Pet Travel
- Crash safety tested in all scenarios: front, rear, and rollover
- Meets all government auto safety testing standards
- Uses tests conducted under real-world conditions
- Offers proven results in real accidents
- Employs experienced engineers to design products
- Works with vehicle safety design and uses crumple zones
- Doesn’t’ rely on cargo hooks and straps for crash safety
- Pet removal after a crash is quick and safe
- Has a rear escape hatch if car’s cargo door cannot be opened
- The manufacturer is transparent and willing to answer questions
The Variocage is the only crate to meet these standards. MIM Safe Variocage is the only crash-test certified and approved dog cage on the market and the most rigorously tested and proven dog transport cage in the world. Variocage is designed and constructed to deliver the highest level of safety. The MIM Safe Variocage is the only dog cage on the market that is proven to best withstand impacts experienced during all types of collisions.
The standard Variocage, available in four base sizes, is further adjustable to better accommodate any sized dog. The Variocage also is available as a segregated double wide for multidog families. MIM has two additional models to meet unique needs - one designed for compact cars, the other for very small dogs or cats.
The Variocage is sloped front and back. The sides are mostly normal to the base, slightly tapered near the top. Unlike the other barred crates, the Variocage uses vertical bars on the front (door) and horizontal bars on the two long sides. The rear is a mixed metal panel, solid on the lower third and up the sides while grilled in the central two thirds. The door can be locked with a key and there is a small storage area to tuck a training lead.
The door is mounted on hydraulic hinges to make for a smoother open and close. The horizontal bars comprising the sides of the Variocage are unique and a closer look reveals they are two pieces, one fitting inside the end of the other. In their product description, MIM notes that in a rear-end collision the Variocage is designed to partially crumple. The telescoping nature of these horizontal sidebars is a key element of that safety feature.
The most outstanding design feature of the Variocage is the ability to absorb crash energy by crumpling in a predefined, controlled manner. In a rear crash, MIM has eliminated one of the most significant risks - a crate acting as a battering ram that can break a seatback and injure the occupant. The pet is also better protected from potential trauma as the Variocage won't shatter, nor are metal parts likely to protrude into the interior of the crate.
|Variocage Single||Variocage Double||Variocage MinMax||Variocage Compact||Variogate|
|For Single Dogs||For Two Dogs or Very Large Pets||For Small Dogs or Cats||For Station Wagons, Hatchbacks or similar||Universal Gate for use with Most SUVs and Wagons|
|The MIM Variocage Single is designed for one dog and is proven to provide protection to you and your pet while still leaving sufficient space for other cargo in your vehicle. Available in 6 adjustable si||
The MIM Safe Variocage Double is the largest Variocage offered and is built for two dogs, and the movable center divider is easily adjustable if one dog needs more space. This divider can be removed and the crate used for one dog. Available in 8 adjustable sizes.
Variocage MiniMax is designed with all of the safety features of the larger models, scaled down to protect smaller pets. Its bars are closer together to prevent smaller dogs and cats from escaping or poking their heads out between bars during transit. The smaller footprint also leaves considerable space for additional cargo.
The Variocage Compact is designed for use in vehicles that have a threshold (or sill) at the rear cargo door, such as hatchbacks, station wagons, minivans or similar. The Variocage Compact features a raised front door which is designed to clear the vehicle’s threshold without requiring special mounting or a platform. Its small footprint leaves considerable space for additional cargo.
The Variogate Transforms your cargo area into a safe and very practical environment for transporting pets and maximizing the space in your vehicle. When used with our Universal Cargo Barrier the Variogate will create a safe and secure containment area for your pets.
|View Single Crate||View Double Crate||View MinMax Crate||View Compact Crate||View Variogate|
- Feb 13, 2020
- in Pet Blog