The American Pet Products Manufacturing Association (APPMA) has issued a warning to Americans traveling with pets this summer. According to the group, a majority of the 40 million pets expected to hit the roads this vacation season will not be properly restrained, causing unnecessary safety hazard to pets and people alike.
For example, the group notes, an unsecured 60 pound dog could hit a window, backseat or another passenger with a force of 1,200 pounds in a 30 mile-per-hour collision.
APPMA is urging Americans to buckle up pets with its "Be Sure to Secure" national travel safety campaign. "There are many easy-to-use restraint devices, including harnesses and crates, which limit distractions and keept pets and others safe while traveling," said Funda Alp, spokesperson for APPMA.
APPMA recommends owners follow simple pre-travel steps so pets are safe and secure while traveling. "After properly securing pets, take them on a few short rides around your neighborhood to get them used to being in the car," Alp suggests. "With practice rides, companion animals will be more comfortable and experience less stress before taking a longer trip." Alp also suggests you feed a pet at least two hours before departure, scheduling a pre-vacation veterinarian visit and packing a pet's health records and medications with you when you travel.