SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- If you are going on a road trip and bringing along a pet, you should be aware of California's laws on pet safety. The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) also has a few tips to make your travel experience safe.
"There are a lot of things to consider when traveling with pets," says Mark Nunez, DVM, president of the CVMA. "By taking a few precautions, travel with your companion pets can be both safe and enjoyable."
Dogs are often transported in the back of pickup trucks. California law requires anyone carrying a dog, or any other animal, in the back of a pickup to protect it in a secured container or cage, to cross tether the animal to the vehicle, or to have side and trail racks at least 46" high. The goal is to prevent animals from falling, jumping or being thrown from the vehicle. Fines range from $50 to $250.
In California, it is also against the law to leave an animal unattended in a vehicle under conditions that endanger the animal. Law enforcement officials are authorized to break into a motor vehicle to rescue an animal if they determine the animal is in danger. Fines begin at $100.
The CVMA recommends the following:
-- Protect your pet in a car. Everyone has to hit their brakes from time to time to avoid a road hazard; when that happens, an unrestrained pet may get hurt. At high speeds, a pet could become a flying projectile. Pets also can get in the way of rescue workers or can escape and cause additional accidents. Keep your pet in a secured crate, car seat, or soft carrier for smaller dogs and cats. Also consider a pet buckle, which works with a human safety belt. Never place your pet in the front seat because airbags are unsafe for them. The CVMA also recommends against having a pet in your lap while driving.
-- Never leave pets unattended in vehicles, as they can get injured, stolen or suffer or even die from temperature extremes.
The California Veterinary Medical Association is the largest state veterinary medical association in the United States, with more than 6,000 members. For more information, visit www.cvma.net.
SOURCE California Veterinary Medical Association