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So, you’ve taken all the right steps to pet-proof your home — but what about your vehicle? Chances are you’ll need to take a car ride with your pet at some point or another, whether it’s for a visit to the vet down the street or a family road trip across the country. Here are 10 safety tips for driving with your pet:

  1. Learn your local laws before you hit the road. Some locations have laws that require all pets to be in carriers, for example, while others issue careless driving charges if you’re caught with a pet on your lap when you’re behind the wheel.
  2. Practice first. Driving with pets doesn’t always make for smooth sailing. The first time you take your pet out on the road, consider a short drive to a nearby park where he can get out of the car for a walk. It’s probably best to save the four-hour road trip for later, when he’s had a little practice taking shorter trips.
  3. Be prepared for motion sickness. Pets get motion sickness, too. Ask your vet about any remedies you can give your pet to prevent nausea while you’re on the road.
  4. Watch your windows. While he may love the feeling of the wind in his hair, letting Fido stick his head out the window while you’re driving can be dangerous. If you still want to keep a window open to let in the breeze, make sure your pup can’t fit his head through the opening.
  5. Never leave your pets alone in the car. It only takes a few minutes for your vehicle to reach an uncomfortable (and even dangerous) temperature when the air is turned off, especially on a particularly hot or cold day. If you know that your destination doesn’t allow pets, you should leave yours at home instead of bringing them along for the ride.
  6. Install a pet barrier. If you have a hatchback, van, or SUV, consider installing a barrier to keep your pet from making his way into the front seat. If you have stowaway seating, consider lowering it to give him more room to roam.
  7. Keep smaller pets contained. Smaller pets should have a designated place to stay in the back seat of your vehicle. While a comfy pet bed could do the trick, you may want to consider keeping your furry friend in an enclosed crate if he’s likely to move around and become a distraction while you’re driving.
  8. Pick up a pet-friendly harness or seatbelt. From full-body seatbelt harnesses to zip-line contraptions that allow your pet to move across the back seat while staying strapped in, there are many different types of pet seatbelts and harnesses that can help your pet stay put.
  9. Don’t keep your pup in the bed of your pick-up truck. Not only could he jump out while you’re moving, but the wind could hurt his eyes and ears. The safest place for your pet is inside the passenger cabin with you.
  10. Get your pet a health insurance policy. Pet health insurance is designed to cover things like unexpected veterinary bills, tests, medication, dental coverage, and even things like “lost pet” advertising. It’s another great way to keep your best friend safe and sound, at home and on the road.