Just as you should always wear a seatbelt in the car to protect yourself in case of a collision, your pet should also be properly restrained while in a vehicle. This means properly securing them with a harness or confined to a carrier.
A small pet loose in a vehicle could potentially interfere with the brake or accelerator pedals. Although your furry friend likes sitting or standing on your lap, they not only interfere with your view of the road, they can also be seriously injured or killed by the airbag in the event of a collision.
Most of us smile when we see a dog’s face smiling out of the window, loving the ride and all the smells in the passing breeze, but this is a very risky venture for many reasons. Your dog is not properly restrained and can be a distraction to you and other drivers while on the road. Your dog is also at a high risk of eye, ear, face, or mouth injury from airborne objects while its face is hanging out of the window. Letting your dog hang any body part out of the window increases the risk of him/her being thrown from the vehicle in the event of a collision. Loss of balance during an abrupt turn or maneuver can cause your dog to fall or jump out of the window; this may result in serious injury to your furry friend.
Let’s not forget about the dangers of driving with your dog in the bed of your pickup truck. Dogs can jump out of the truck bed and be struck by another passing vehicle. Just as letting your dog hang their head out of the window puts them at risk of injury from debris; a dog in the bed of a truck is even more exposed to airborne hazards. Appropriate length tethers may reduce the risk of your dog jumping out of the vehicle, but the tether may tangle, injure or even choke your dog. If you must transport your dog in the bed of a truck use a well-vented dog kennel that is appropriately sized and secured to the truck bed.
Before you put your pet in the car ask yourself if they really need to come. If the answer is no, leave them at home. If you must take your pet with you, make sure pet is properly restrained in the vehicle to assure a safe trip for both you and your furry companion.
Written by Leanne Radcliffe.