Most places in North America have laws stipulating that seat belts are mandatory for vehicle drivers and passengers. Most provinces and states have laws regarding child seats in cars. Great! Now, what about your pet? Taking Fluffy for a car ride may be fun for you and him, but what are the consequences?
As a society we have made our pets, especially our dogs, into family members, or our "children". We feed them, clothe them, take them to the vet for regular check-ups and regularly pamper them. But for some reason, when we get into our car, having Fido bounce around from window to window looks like the right way to travel. And I must admit that I wave to every dog with their head out the car window.
Now I want you to think about every accident scene that you have ever passed on the road. See the confusion surrounding the scene. Now imagine YOUR little pooch in the middle of that! Unrestrained items get tossed around violently at the time of impact. This includes your pet. Windows break in an accident. What is to stop your dog from bolting in fear? What is there to stop your dog from attacking rescue personnel. Your dog may only be scared, or even thinking they are protecting you, but they could be preventing rescuers from saving your life.
So should we stop taking our pets on car rides with us? I know that my dogs would not be happy with this. There are solutions for almost every dog and dog owner. There are seat belts that work with your dogs harness. There are car seats and car hammocks for dogs designed to keep them in one place and still allow them the freedom to see the world outside. And if you have a vehicle large enough to accommodate them, a crate is probably the safest way to transport your pet. By using one of these pet safety devices, you can keep your pet safe in case of an accident. Rescue personnel will be able to safely handle your pet, so that they may attend to any injuries. Seat belts or carriers also give rescuers a way to "hold" your dog if you need to be transported.
Dog vehicle safety devices may also help prevent an accident by keeping your pet in one place and out from under your brake pedal! If cell phones, coffee, and the like are dangerous distractions on our roads, then Spot jumping from window to window must be recognized as a potential problem.
Take your dog with you everywhere you can. Just remember to provide them with the same car safety that you give to yourself and your two-legged passengers. As always, enjoy your pet!
Don’t neglect your dog! If you need training tips and help, be sure to check out our link here!