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  • Writer's pictureBilly Hillmuth

Driving Safely With Your Dog

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

We love our pets and bringing them along for road trips can be a lot of fun. However, there are a few things you might need to know to ensure your dog is safe on the long car trip.

Don’t Let the Dog Distract You

Driving requires a great deal of focus whether you’ve only just started driving or you’ve been behind the wheel for years. Driving with a dog can add a lot of distractions to your driving experience, especially if your dog is stressed during the ride.

Some drivers like to have their dogs sit in their lap, but this can spell disaster in terms of distractions and beyond. Not only could the dog suddenly move and take your eyes off the road, in the event of an accident, sitting on your lap will almost certainly prove fatal.

The best place for your dog is in the back seat confined by a guard or harnessed. Though it may not be as fun or as cute, its much safer for both you and your beloved pup.

Keep the Window Closed

Though it may seem like a crime to your dog, you should keep the windows that your dog has access to closed. Not only can road debris fly up and hit them, but the high speeds can upset their respiratory systems. If you must open the window, make it a small opening.

You should also keep your dog out of your truck bed, if you have one. Dogs can fall out of your truck bed while you’re driving and be lost or hurt.

Bring the Essentials for Your Dog

Dogs can get carsick just like people do, though a dog’s carsickness comes more from stress than problems with the inner ear. To help keep your dog calm during their ride, try some training before you head off on a long journey. You can easily use treats to encourage a positive association with the car.

We also recommend you bring some of your dog’s favorite items along for the ride—to help them feel comfortable. Things like their favorite toys or bed. And don’t forget to pack snacks, water, and treats!

Regular Maintenance is Important for All Passengers

Whether your passengers are furry or not, the car’s overall safety needs to be addressed as well. Make sure you take your vehicle into your local Maryland auto maintenance service and tell them you want them to look it over before your road trip. In addition to this check-up, regular vehicle maintenance is also extremely important to keeping your vehicle running its best at all times.

Looking for an Auto Mechanic in Columbia, MD?

Before you take your dog out and about, make sure your car is in good working order. When you bring your vehicle to Hillmuth Auto Care, we’ll keep you rolling safely. So if you’re looking for a mechanic in Columbia, MD give us a call or bring your vehicle in to one of our other locations in Clarksville, Gaithersburg, Columbia, or Glenwood. Happy trails and happy tails!

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