As a police officer I have investigated hundreds of traffic accidents. Dog’s that are not restrained is the number one reason they are killed during traffic accidents. I cringe every time I see someone driving with their little lap dog sitting or standing on the driver’s lap. Any idea what an air bag does to a dog sitting in the driver’s lap? Not pretty.
The photos accompanying this article are of a little dog that was involved in a traffic accident. Fortunately, this little guy must have had a guardian angel because he was not injured. The pooch was not restrained and was shot out of the window during impact. The vehicle was T-boned in the intersection by another car which ran the red light.
After impact the pooch ran about 300 yards to a corner of a fence. Good Samaritans found a leash and tethered the dog to the fence to prevent him from running and away and getting injured. We were able to call the owner’s brother to come and take the frightened dog home. In the pictures you can see the little guy is stressed; his eyes were dilated, ears back, shaking and slouched in the corner.
Please, be safe when transporting your dog in a car. If you have the room, crate your dog in the vehicle. I own a full size van, trail blazer, and Buick Enclave. All three vehicles have room for crates in the back with the seats folded down. If you do not have the room for a crate, purchase a safety harness for your dog. These harnesses are specifically made to attach to the seat belt. Remember, dog’s ride in the back seat and not in the front.
To condition your dog to ride safely; put them in the car, secure them in and then treat them. Let them out of the car and do it again. Take short trips at first the help acclimate them to the harness or crate. If they fuss don’t give in. I once stopped a parent with their child standing on the back seat and moving around in the car. The parent stated they could not keep their child in the safety seat. I ticketed them and told them to try harder. Don’t be that parent. Your dog depends on you for his/her safety. Secure your dog in the car.
Make sure you have identification on your dog as well. Tags with their name, your telephone number and microchip are the best way to make sure your dog is returned home.
A note on seatbelt harnesses. Most available in stores are substandard and will not protect your pet. Clickt by Sleepypod has been tested and provides the best protection for your dog.