National Dog Day: Keep your pets safe on the road

National Dog Day is Monday and many will be out celebrating with their four-legged friends!

But before you hit the road to your destination, officials say there are some safety tips you should follow.

Here are some tips from Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro, Staff Criticialist, Cornell University Veterinary Specialists, to keep your furry family member safe while on the road.

  1. Don’t drive with your pet in the front seat. In the event of a collision, a dog/cat can be thrown from the seat into the windshield, even if restrained.  Unless the passenger side airbag is disengaged, the airbag deployment can be dangerous to a small pet.
  2. Never drive with your pet on your lap. It is not only a serious distraction to driving, but the pet can get caught under the steering wheel and cause an accident or can be projected forward in the event of a collision.
  3. Never drive with your pet unrestrained. In addition to being a distraction, an abrupt stop can cause the pet to fall quickly and cause soft tissue injury or worse. In the event of an accident, pets can jump from the vehicle and go into moving traffic and become hit by other vehicles or get lost in an unfamiliar area
  4. Never allow your pet to lean out of a car window. Debris can be forced into their eyes and cause abrasions or punctures to the cornea/eye, which could result in blindness.
  5. Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle. Depending on the breed, level of anxiety, and ambient temperature, some people may be tempted to keep their pet in the car while running a short errand. Even in cooler months, never leave your dog unattended in your vehicle, no matter how short a period of time, to avoid extreme temperatures and hyperthermia/heat stroke.
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