Traveling with your furry friends can arguably one of the best memories you can have as you take them out for a big adventure. However, most public transport vehicles in Hong Kong do not allow passengers to bring their pets. That’s why a lot of pet owners will ride with their animal companions in their own cars. But the situation can also be a bit tricky if you do not plan ahead and understand the risks involved. For example, your Golden Retriever may get so excited at the back seat that it jumps up and down all the time, while your Shiba is getting carsick.
In light of this, our experts at Kwiksure have curated this article to showcase some safety tips on driving with pets to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip for everyone.
#1 Prepare your pet for the trip
If this is the first time you travel with your pet in a car, start with a short trip to see how it reacts. Some pets are fine with it while others may be more sensitive and suffer from motion sickness. You may ease its symptoms by taking your pet to a vet for appropriate medications. If they have no problem with the short trips, you can gradually lengthen the time you spend in the car.
Also, you should make sure that your pets are microchipped for identification or/and wear a tag imprinted with your name, phone number and any relevant contact information, lest they escape during the trip.
#2 Restrain your pet
Most cats and dogs usually feel safer whilst traveling in a small crate. One way to prepare your furry friends for the trip is to leave the crate around your apartment for a few days so that they can get familiarized with the feeling. The crate should be large enough for the pet to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in. Make sure it is well-ventilated, secured, and cushioned so that it will not slide, shift, or slam in the event of an abrupt stop. If, for some reason, a crate is not used, at least keep your pet in the back seat in a harness attached to a seat buckle to ensure that it will not stick its head outside of the window (as it may be hurt by flying objects) or even leap out.
#3 Put together a travel kit
Pack a kit for your furry friend, especially if you are traveling a relatively long distance. A pet-friendly travel kit can save you much effort so that you won’t have to make intermittent stops to accommodate its various needs. It’s advisable to bring food, a bowl, leash, plastic bags, medication and first-aid, and a waste scoop.
Furthermore, your pet’s favorite chew toy is also a good idea. Not only does it give your pet a sense of familiarity, but it can also keep it entertained and busy.
#4 Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle
It is extremely dangerous to leave your animal unattended in the car as it can be potentially fatal. Even with the windows open, a car can quickly become a furnace and rise to 49 degrees on a hot day. Meanwhile, it can act as a refrigerator and trap in the cold in winter times. And you can also risk your pet and car being stolen. Therefore, the safest practice is to park in the shade.
#5 Feed your pet wisely
Remember to pack a lot of bottled water and refrain from feeding your pet in a moving car. In fact, it’s best to feed it no less than three to four hours before your trip begins to minimize the risks of car sickness. If your pet is really hungry in the middle of the trip, you should feed it at a rest stop and reserve enough time for it to digest.
Pet safety in automobiles
Indeed there are a lot of things you will have to consider before pulling your car out of the driveway. Apart from the above safety tips for pets, you may also be interested in other pet-related articles in our blog, such as “Dogs in cars: will motor insurance cover pets in accidents?” and “What to do in a traffic accident involving injured animals” to learn more about pet and motor insurance.
Kwiksure is an established insurance brokerage that specializes in motor insurance, motorbike insurance, travel insurance, and home insurance. With close to 20 years of experience, our team of experts has close relationships with over 60 top insurers in Hong Kong. Contact us today for impartial insurance advice, an obligation-free quote, and a free plan comparison!