Driving Safely with Pets

There is no valid excuse for not safely securing a dog in a travel dog crate. Most folks are oblivious that the majority of states have laws governing pets riding in vehicles. New Jersey, for example, has fines ranging from $250 up to $1,000, for unrestrained pets. Traveling in Hawaii with a dog on your lap is illegal and North Carolina is considering making this a law as well. Furthermore, in nearly all states, an accident resulting from a pet in the vehicle is a violation per distracted driving laws.

The following illustrate the common reasons dog owners state for not securing their pet while riding in the car:

  • It’s a Short Trip – A short trip does not diminish the risk of an accident. To the contrary, insurance companies report that more than 50 percent of vehicular accidents occur within five miles of one’s home.
  • My Dog Likes the View – Dogs are kind of like human children in that they too might enjoy sticking their heads out the window or bouncing around on the backseat, but this is terribly distracting for the driver. Also, sticking their heads out of the car window increases the risk of eye injury due to flying debris or objects.
  • Crates Cost Too Much – The ultimate cost of a quality pet crate is nothing compared to that of an accident or veterinary bills for an injured pet. The pet industry is a multi-billion dollar one where pet owners spend the bulk of their money on food, toys, and health care, but many balk at spending on accessories to protect their pets. Many crates available on the market have been tested by the Center for Pet Safety and measure up to their standards. A few of these crates are so well-built that they will last decades, never having to be replaced.

The distressing news is that countless dogs die annually in vehicle accidents and many that do not, escape from the wreckage panicked and afraid, ending up lost or causing further accidents as motorists try to avoid hitting them. A dog riding loose in a vehicle quickly becomes a projectile in an accident. Consider this – a 5 pound Yorkie traveling 30 mph through the air that hits an occupant in the head, is going to hurt both parties. It simply isn’t worth the risk.


a Simple Plan Pets

While owning a pet can be extremely rewarding, it is important to remember that pet ownership also comes with a huge responsibility. As a pet owner it is very important to thoroughly research the basics of pet care before acquiring any new pet so that you know you will be able to understand and meet different kinds of needs of the animal.

Some important factors for rearing pets are discussed below:

1. It’s a Long-term Commitment

When you decide to offer a pet home, remember it should be for the pet’s lifetime. Responsible pet ownership also means committing to take care the pet through their sickness and health. The average lifespan of dogs and cats is around 12 years, with some dogs and cats living until 15 or even 20 years. Everyone wants puppies and kittens because they are unbearably adorable, but you should also be prepared to take care of them as they grow up.

2. Spend Enough Time

Caring for a pet takes a considerable amount of time every day. Exercise, socialization, grooming, feeding, reward-based training, play time and providing company and attention are all critical aspects of pet ownership.

3. Expect the Unexpected

Breaking and throwing things. Chewing your favorite plants. Scratching the furniture. Most of us never expect to face these behaviours from our pets before bringing them home. Relax, they don’t do it out of anger or spiteful reasons and the good news is these behaviours can be managed. Bringing a pet into your home is like having a toddler. When young they can be a little destructive until they are taught not to be in the nicest possible way.

4. Fitting them into Your Lifestyle

Companion animals always depend on human company, so make sure your lifestyle can accommodate them. Taking regular trips away, a busy social life, long working hours or a home that does not allow having pets these are some of the factors that need to be considered beforehand.

5. Costs of Pet Ownership

The costs of pet ownership will vary depending on the type of animal you choose. Remember that pets are an addition to the family and costs like vaccination, desexing, food, deworming, health checks, vet bills are also involved with pet ownership. If an emergency or accident occurs, you will be responsible to pay for any emergency veterinary treatment if required.

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