For many of us our dogs are like family.
We wouldn’t dream of driving our children around town or on a cross-country trip without using a car seat belt. And we certainly wouldn’t let our kids stick their heads out of the car window while we drive. We expect our kids to sit, safely buckled up, in their own seats when our vehicle is moving.
Shouldn’t we take the same care of our family dogs?
Thousands of dogs are killed in car accidents ever year in the U.S. many of which could have been saved if they’d been properly restrained. Unfortunately, unrestrained dogs also contribute to accidents and can injure you and other passengers.
Food for thought ....
- An unrestrained dog, moving around can distract you while driving, increasing your risk of having an accident
- In the event of an accident an unrestrained dog will impact whatever it hits with a considerable force, increasing the likelihood of you and your passengers being injured as well as your dog
- In an accident an unrestrained dog may be thrown out of or jump out of the vehicle. Once outside it may run off in fear and get lost or get hit by another vehicle resulting in injury or death. This happened to me many years ago and I still clearly remember the panic of trying to catch two frightened cocker spaniels running into oncoming traffic. Luckily I did round them up but it was a hairy moment!
- Yes, your dog may love to stick his head out the window and feel his ears blow in the wind. But neither one of you will be happy when you have to come to a quick stop and he gets thrown from the car
So .... travelling safely and responsibly with your pet isn't just about reducing the risk of harm or fatal injury to your dog .... it's about everybody's safety.
You owe it to yourself, your passengers and your precious pet to make everyone's journey as safe as possible.
How can we make the journey safer for our dogs while still allowing them to enjoy the special excitement of a car ride?
- Avoid travelling with dogs in front seats if possible
- Never allow them to ride on your lap …. (I know but it does go on!)
- Always use a harness and a dog car seat belt to keep them as safe as the rest of the family.
Are your dogs frequent passengers in your car? Do you have any special memories of road trips taken with them?
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