If you are planning on going on a road trip with your pet or even need to transport your pet briefly, you’ll want to take a few simple precautions both to keep your pet safe and to avoid being dangerously distracted from driving.
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Tip #1: Secure Your Pet
Having your pet loose in the car can be a recipe for disaster. The Ministry of Transportation names tending to children or pets as one of the ways drivers are often distracted.
You don’t want a spooked cat to dash under your brake pedal or an excited pup to pull your shirt sleeve suddenly, and by extension, the steering wheel. Letting your pet sit on your lap or roam unharnessed increases the risk of crashing. Plus, if you just get into a fender bender, your pet can easily get injured if it isn’t secured.
Use a well-ventilated carrier or crate that’s large enough to accommodate your pet. And it’s a good idea to get your pet used to the carrier gradually before taking it on a long trip.
Tip #2: Take a Pet Care Kit
Be prepared for any situation or emergency that may arise with your pet on the road. Keep a pet care kit in your trunk just in case.
Items to bring in your pet kit include:
- First-aid items.
- cleaning wipes and plastic baggies (in case of an accident).
- waste scooper.
- treats and extra water.
- and, favorite toy or pillow for comfort.
Tip #3: Bring Your Pet’s Papers
You also might consider bringing your pet’s license and immunization record. Some provinces require you to have one if travelling across their borders. Also, for your pet’s protection, ensure your pet has a microchip and wears a collar with an identification tag.
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Tip #4: Don’t Leave Your Pet Unattended
Locking your pet in the car while you run errands – even briefly – could be deadly for your pet. And cracking the windows isn’t sufficient. “A car can become a death trap even on a mild sunny day. It can raise the car’s inside temperature to well above 120 degrees. Never, ever leave your pet inside the car. If your pet can’t come with you when you get out of the car, leave him at home,” advises The Weather Channel.
Tip #5: Plan Your Rest Stops
If going on a longer trip, plan to take regular rest stops for feeding and walking. This also gives your pet the opportunity to relieve him or herself. Keeping your pet on a regular feeding schedule prior to the trip will make things easier, too.
Liability Concerns about Pets in Ontario
Another practical thing to consider are liability issues that can arise from travelling with a pet. If your pet accidentally causes you to crash your vehicle, you’ll likely be responsible for any damages you cause. And if your pet gets loose and winds up biting someone, you also could be liable.
For legal questions about pets and liability or for car accident legal advice, contact Preszler Law in Ontario today at 1-800-JUSTICE® for a free, no-obligation initial legal consultation.