Road trips are no fun if Fido and Felix can’t come. But before you load up your canine companion or feline friend in your vehicle, there are some precautions you should take to keep your pet safe during the drive.

Below, we’ve listed four driving tips to prepare you, your animal, and your vehicle for car rides to help ensure the safety of the four-legged members of your family.

Safe Driving Tips for Traveling With a Pet

Tip #1: Secure your pet.

Though your dog might like sticking his head out the window to catch the breeze, it’s a potentially dangerous habit. To avoid this injury risk, it’s best to enclose your pet in a well-ventilated crate or carrier and secure it in the backseat. Pet restraints, like pet seat belts, also help limit driver distraction and prevent serious injury in the event of an accident.

Tip #2: Never leave your pet alone.

Leaving your pet in a parked vehicle is dangerous all year round. Hot days can transform your car into a sauna in just a few minutes — even with the windows open. And in cold weather, the inside temperature of your vehicle can put your animal at risk for hypothermia.

If you plan to visit a store that doesn’t allow pets, it’s best for your companion to stay home.

Tip #3: Pack supplies.

Leash? Check. Water and food? Check and check. When you travel with your pet, always bring along all his or her needed supplies. Depending on the length of the car ride, pack travel papers, food, a bowl, a leash, plastic bags, grooming supplies, and medication.

You may also want to grab your furry friend’s favorite toy for a sense of familiarity. Giving them something to take their mind off the road can also help if they’re feeling anxious.

Tip #4: Feed your pet beforehand.

Long car rides can make your number-one pal carsick, which will only slow you down. Approximately 3 to 4 hours before you hit the open road, feed your pet a light meal. Also, don’t supply your dog or cat with food while your vehicle is in motion.

With proper planning, your pet should be ready for an event-free trip and maybe even a peaceful snooze.

Find a Pet-Friendly Vehicle at Car City Central

From hatchbacks to SUVs, Car City Central offers a large selection of pre-owned vehicles that are perfect for pet lovers and their loyal companions. Reach out today to learn more about our current inventory.