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Pet Travel Safety

By Christina Burns

Springtime is here! So begins the warmer months, longer days and road trips with our fur kids! It is important that we put our pet’s safety in line with our own! Thinking about pet safety reminds me of a recent event that I experienced.

It was Saturday, March 4th at 9:00am and I was leaving my home for an appointment at 10:00am. As I sat in my car waiting for the left hand turn signal to turn green I glanced to my right and noticed a white car driving then all of a sudden a big dog jumped out of the driver side rear window and bolted down the street. I immediately took my car keys, left my door open and car in the turning lane and ran down the street in an attempt to capture the dog that was running on the opposite side of the street into oncoming traffic. I was not successful and the dog was hit.  I went into a flight or fight mode and with a ton of adrenaline I began directing traffic and trying to comfort the owners and the dog. A few nice motorists stopped, I told one to call the city animal control, and another had a blanket in her car and water which I used to help the dog. It was a sad moment as I watched the owners cry uncontrollably. Sadly, even with all of our efforts were not able stop what was unfortunately inevitable and the dog passed away. As I walked away back to my car and watched as animal control completely covered the dog with the blanket, I thought to myself this didn’t have to happen, and how can I use this incident to bring awareness of the importance of pet travel safety. It’s important to remember, that our fur kids are not people and act in ways we might never understand. Animals look to us for guidance, direction, and protection. So it is very important that we make the best and most informed decisions for their well-being.

That is how this article came to be. The folks at Canine Caviar were gracious enough to let me use this platform to spread the word about pet travel safety. Pet safety is something we all lose sight of at some point but more often when traveling. We get them all of these fun toys and items for home but rarely do think about the time away from home. In closing, please adhere to the following pet travel safety rules to help keep your fur kids safe; sometimes you just never know!

  1. As awesome as it is to have pets look out the windows during the warm months know that this is unsafe for you and for them as careful as you are.
  2. Please ensure your fur kids are secured in a vehicle while traveling. This includes car rides (yes, even if it’s just a quick trip around the corner), airplanes, trains, etc. Harness or crate your pets – dogs and cats of all shapes and sizes – don’t toss them in the back seat, front seat, etc. without seat belting them in! You have one they should too!
  3. Please don’t be a distracted driver, and keep an eye on the road.

If flying, you can find a list of permitted travel crates on your airlines website. Also, I would suggest flying with your pets in the cabin. The checked baggage, or cargo and manifest cargo is not temperature controlled or supervised and too many things can happen.

Below is a helpful link:

If traveling by a car or train I prefer hard sides crates. These crates should be seat belted into the car or train (if possible) to provide safety upon impact or accidents.

In closing, March 4, 2017 was a difficult day for me; however, I hope that I am able to empower others to understand the importance of pet travel safety through this experience.

About Me:
Christina is lives in sunny Orange County, CA as a full-time working pet mommy. Her love of animals goes back to her childhood where she used to rescue animals big and small and bring them home to her family. Always an avid pet owner, cats specifically, she adopted her first dog in 2012 where her zest for learning and finding healthy options for her pets has become a passion of hers. She is excited to begin sharing her knowledge with a larger audience.

Her pet mommy mantra: Remember pet parenthood is a privilege and an honor; try to find new ways to share new experiences with your furry family- life is short!