Ahh, summer!  Swimming, barbequing, hot weather, vacations.  If you have a dog or cat, bring your little furry family member on a vacation can add to the fun.  But, you have to make sure they stay happy and healthy on the road.  Here are a few tips to keep your pet safe in the car:

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1)   Yes, even animals need to wear seatbelts: To prevent injuries, your pet should be secured in a rear set when the car is moving – dogs should be in a seatbelt and harness and cats should be in a carrier. As much fun as it is to have your pet ride shotgun, an airbag’s force could seriously hurt a pet in the passenger seat.  If you have an SUV or wagon, you can install a barrier behind the rear seat to keep your pet in the very back. 

2)   Pack It In: If you are carrying luggage or other items in your car, make sure everything is tied down to prevent objects from hitting your pet when the car is moving.

3)   Precious Cargo: Do NOT leave your pet in your car unattended in hot summer months.  Even with the windows cracked, temperatures in a car even on a mild day can rise fast and can cause brain damage or death.  Unless you plan to keep your dog or cat with you at all times (make sure the hotels you stay at are pet-friendly), leave him/her at home under a neighbor’s watch or with a pet-sitter where they are safe and happy.

4)   Stay Inside: Don’t let your dog ride with his/her head out the window.  As much fun as it looks, flying rocks and debris can cause injury and the increased airflow has been known to damage their lungs.

5)   Be Super Prepared: Before taking your pet on a vacation, make sure their vaccinations are updated, keep a copy of their health records, and, in case of an emergency, be able to locate (either written down or via your smartphone) veterinary clinics along your route.

Following these tips can make sure your summer vacation is as safe and fun for your pet as it is for you!

Source: All Animals (Humane Society)