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Summer safety: Road trips with Fido

With summer in full swing, many across Maryland will hop in the car with the whole family to take a road trip for vacation. For pet owners, a family trip could just as easily include a beloved dog or cat, and there are several safety tips to follow to keep the entire family safe on a trip.

As Click on Detroit explains, holding a pet while driving is a bad idea. This makes both the animal and the driver less safe, and the pet can get loose, which can be a huge distraction to the person behind the wheel. If the pet becomes entangled in the driver's arms or legs, steering or hitting the brakes becomes difficult and can even lead to an accident.

For cats or dogs that are uneasy in the car, consider purchasing lavender essential oils or a calming spray to help the pet relax. If these don't work, the family veterinarian may have a stronger solution, as some medications are available for pets to help them deal with anxiety. Dogs who are comfortable in a crate may be happier to lie in their crate for the car ride because then they are in a safe and familiar place. The crate will also keep the dog in the vehicle in the event of an accident.

For animals that are not comfortable in crates, WFAA reports that they would benefit from a restraint device, such as a harness or car seat made for pets and put in the back seat. Much like small children, putting an animal in the front seat, even on the passenger side, leaves them susceptible to being crushed by an airbag during a collision.

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