PETS ARE FAMILY MEMBERS, AND THEIR SAFETY, COMFORT, AND COMPLIANCE WITH LOCAL RULES OF THE ROAD SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WITH EACH TRIP THEY TAKE.
A RECENT SURVEY* indicates that approximately 80 percent of owners don’t restrain their pets when traveling in vehicles. Pets, like humans, sustain injuries when unrestrained, and cause injuries to other vehicle passengers. For a small animal, even a sudden stop can result in serious injury or death.
Here are some tips for traveling with your pet.
BEFORE YOU GO
Preparation is an important part of your trip. Within 10 days of your trip to some destinations (particularly when crossing state or international borders), your pet will need a current tag/microchip, a health certificate, and proof of rabies vaccination. Attach your temporary contact information while you’re traveling. For your peace of mind and your pet’s comfort, plan on taking along your pet’s photo, food and water dishes, leash, food, and water.
|Before a long trip, ensure your pet is accustomed to riding.|
Acclimate your pet with its kennel, harness or restraint, and method of transportation prior to travel. Before a long trip, ensure your pet is accustomed to riding.
ON THE ROAD
More tips for traveling with your pet
- Follow your pet’s regular feeding routine, with minimum feeding while traveling.
- Ice is handy for pets with upset stomachs.
- Stop every two hours for exercise. Rest stops often designate areas for pets.
- Keep your pet leashed with a collar and proper identification. Remember that some states have leash laws.
- Provide your pet fresh water while stopped. Take water with you in case resources aren’t available.
- Please clean up after your pet.
- Don’t leave pets unattended in a vehicle. On warm days, vehicle temperatures can rise to 120 degrees in minutes, even with windows cracked.
- An unattended pet is an invitation to thieves.
Harnesses, tethers, and other travel accessories are available for most pets. A harness or kennel is safest and keeps your pet from distracting you. Start with shorter trips until your pet is used to its kennel or tether device.
KENNELS. Kennels for cats and dogs should be well-ventilated and stable, without interior protrusions. Kennels in truck beds should be secured to the truck. Use barriers for kennels in wagons and SUVs.
TETHER DEVICES. A harness affords the best protection in extreme situations. Harness devices easily attach to a vehicle’s seatbelt system. California and other states now require animals to be tethered in vehicles.
In addition, dogs should not hang out the window, where dirt or debris can injure their eyes, ears, and noses. Also, they should not ride in seats equipped with frontal airbags, which could injure them severely in an accident.
Several states now require animals to be secured in vehicles. Plus, approximately half of the states have fines for not restraining pets riding in vehicles.
Subaru offers an accessory compartment separator that partitions the cargo area from the passenger seats, which enhances safety in a sudden stop or impact. This accessory is available for Tribeca,
Forester, Legacy wagons, and Outback wagons. Installation and removal of the separator do not require tools. See your dealer for details.
The Subaru accessory cargo tray protects the cargo area from dirt and spills. It can be removed and rinsed clean.
* Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.
STATES WITH LEGISLATION REQUIRING PETS TO BE SECURED
- California: Legislation requires animals to be restrained in the back of a truck
- Delaware: Legislation under review that prohibits carrying a dog in a truck bed, which could cause it to be thrown from a vehicle
- Hawaii: Legislation under review classifying transportation of an unrestrained animal in a pickup as animal cruelty
- Michigan: Legislation under review that prohibits driving a vehicle while holding an animal in a lap
- Minnesota: Legislation under review concerning the safe transportation of an animal in the cargo area of vehicle, including cross tethering or attaching to vehicle; legislation also under review that would require a pet to be secured to prevent it from jumping or being thrown from a vehicle
STATES WITH TETHER LAWS
The following states have tether laws:
AIR TRAVEL WITH PETS
When traveling with your pet across state lines and to other countries, check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Web site, www.aphis.usda.gov. This site has links to state legislation as well as international laws and regulations for air travel.
A CHECKLIST FOR TRAVEL WITH PETS
Things to take along:
Reminder: To help make travel easier for you and fellow travelers:
- Health record
- Collar, leash, and proper identification
- First aid kit
- Emergency numbers
- Food and water dishes
- Food, water, and treats
- Pet toys, bedding
- Grooming supplies
- Litter and litter box, if applicable
- Pet photo
- Waste removal bags
- Towels for easy cleanup
- Call in advance – many hotels, beaches, and campgrounds accept pets, but requirements change all the time
- Always clean up after your animal
- Never leave your pet unattended, even if leashed. There’s always the possibility of an unpleasant encounter with another animal and/or travelers.