Summertime means warmer weather, sandy beaches, and a good time with your friends and family. The drive to the beach or traveling cross-country to visit your relatives is always an exciting – and perhaps daunting – time. Before packing into the car, you may be going over your mental checklist – Keys? Check. Wallet? Got it. Luggage? Loaded up.

While you are well prepared for your road warrior endeavors, don’t forget about your furry friends! They’re unable to make their own checklist (except for their favorite toy, of course), so it’s on us as pet parents to ensure they have everything they need while road tripping.

The key to a happy journey is planning to make sure your four-legged friend will have a comfortable, healthy experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind when traveling with your pets this summer! 

Ease Your Pet Into the Road Warrior Life

Just like human beings, our animals can get motion sick while traveling or anxious in new settings. Be careful not to throw them off the deep end by sticking them in a car and hitting the road before having some “test drives” beforehand! Allow your pet to get acclimated to your vehicle and take them for a few joy rides so they adjust to the motion of your car. If it turns out that your pet has unavoidable motion sickness, speak with your vet before your trek to make sure they’re well taken care of. I promise your pet will appreciate dipping their toes in rather than diving in head first! 

Map Your Stops 

Like all things in life, the more prepared you are when gearing up for a road trip, the better! This is ever more true when you add pets into the equation. Do your homework ahead of time and factor in pre-planned stops along your route. Take into account rules that might be restricting you from allowing pets in certain public places and parks, and if staying at a hotel, double-check their pet policy. Certain trip planners will help you find pet-friendly stops regardless of where you’re going. The more research you do before hitting the road, the better your chances! 

Buckle up for Safety!

Just like you, when driving, your dog (or cat) should not be loose in the car. Not only is it distracting, but if you get into an accident, your pet could get seriously hurt. Unsecured pets are much more likely to be injured or killed if there is an accident and they are loose in the car. 

Regardless of these dangers, in a survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA), researchers found:

    • Only 16% of respondents who take their pets on trips practice proper pet car safety.
    • Over 50% percent of respondents admitted to taking their hands off the wheel to pet their dog
    • 17% of respondents admitted that they allow their pet to sit in their lap while they’re driving
    • 4% of respondents admitted that they play with their dog while they’re driving

It’s best to restrain your fur baby in a carrier in the backseat that connects to a seat belt. The pet carrier should be large enough for your animal to easily stand up, turn around, and lie down to get comfortable. A car hammock is another solid option for larger dogs that helps prevent them from sliding all over the place.

Whatever you do, don’t leash your dog’s collar to a seatbelt. A seat belt attached to a collar could damage a dog’s neck in the event of a sudden stop. Instead, invest in a dog car harness that’s specifically designed to be buckled.

The Salty Advantage

While it’s up to you to make sure your family and fur babies are taken care of, Salty makes sure that your ride is covered.  Whether your vehicle of choice is a car, motorcycle, snowmobile, or bicycle, our unique Embedded Insurance® platform makes it easy to get the coverage you need the moment you need it. 

You take care of your pets, we’ll take care of your ride.