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March 1, 2016


CHARLOTTE (April 11, 2016) — As summer vacation season approaches, more dog owners will take their pets on road trips than ever before. In fact:

52 percent of pet owners take their dog or cat in the car when they leave home
17 percent allow a dog to sit in their lap
13 percent of drivers admit to feeding treats to their dog while the car is moving
4 percent acknowledge they play with their dog while driving
But pets can be a distraction on the road, or they could be the victim of an accident just like you. Just like you have a seat belt, your dog need a secure seat, too, to protect you both in the car. Before you hit the road, make sure your pet is safe in their carrier or buckled in.

“Today’s cars are designed to protect the drivers and passengers on the road, but you have to make sure your four-legged occupants are safe, too,” said Dean Fisher, COO of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. “We frequently hear about people who have had fender benders because of something their pet did in the car, or have had a pet injured due to a deploying air bag. With a few simple precautions, pets and people can both be safe on the road and enjoy the trip.”

Babies and Dogs Should Be in the Back Seat — Dogs want to explore and will move around the car unless they are restrained with a safety harness. Just like children, dogs should be restrained in the back seat so if you have an accident they are safe from the dashboard air bag impact. This also protects them from being thrown in the event of a vehicle collision. There are many pet harnesses that buckle into your seat belt system. And, no, a child’s safety seat is not an option. If pets are going to travel in the bed of a pickup, make sure they are contained in a pet carrier.

A Pet Carrier Provides the Best Protection — A pet carrier is ideal for car travel. Make sure you have a big enough carrier for your dog to sit and lie down. Include a towel or mat for comfort, and a favorite toy to reduce anxiety. Turn the carrier forward to your dog gets plenty of air. And, buckle it in or make sure it is sure in case of a sudden stop.

Road Trip Snacks — The last thing you want on a road trip is a pet with an upset stomach. give your pet a small meal before starting out and a few snacks along the way. Make sure to stop frequently for water and bathroom breaks.

Don’t Overheat Your Pooch – Leaving your pet in the car in warmer months is never a good idea. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.

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