Dogs Riding In Cars

After seeing a dog hanging out a window of a SUV going 50 MPH I decided to do a public service announcement. Your dog is not a missile. There is a reason there are seat belt laws, they save lives. I am a retired police officer and a dog lover. I cannot tell you how many vehicle accidents happen where the dog was either killed or seriously injured due to being blown out of a vehicle. Do you have any idea what an airbag does to a dog that is sitting in the driver’s lap? Let’s be responsible dog owners and secure our dogs in vehicles.

There are a variety ways of transporting your canine companion. I use crates. “Aw crates are mean!” Shut your mouth you are ignorant. Crates are not mean. I have used crates for over 25 years. Crates keep your dog safe when you are away from home and gives them a personal area to relax, sleep and they replace a den. Dogs like dark personal areas and this is what a crate does for your dog. Crates keep your dog safe in a vehicle. Do you have a dog that spins, barks and lunges at cars that pass? How distracting can that be? A quick fix is to put the dog in a crate. I have transported dogs in crates in the back seat of sedans, station wagons, SUV’s, and vans.

If a crate doesn’t appeal to you get yourself a doggie seatbelt. The seatbelt is made to buckle into your vehicle’s seat belt and the other end has a snap to attach to a ring. I suggest you get yourself a nice strong harness that fits your dog. The impact of a crash is violent and you do not want your dog to be able to wiggle out of the harness. There are harnesses made specifically for securing your dog in the car.

Just like children under the age of 8 dogs should not be riding in the front passenger seat. The air bag will kill them. Keep your dog safe in the back seat. Do not allow your dog to hang its head out the window. If a dog can stick their head out their whole body can get out. I have seen it at police dog training. The handler will have the window down half way for the dog to get some air and the next thing you know the dog is running across the field. On an older vehicle I saw a car get shifted into drive by the dog that jumped in the front seat. The owner left the car running so the air conditioning could run. The owner was chasing after his car with his dog in the driver’s seat. It was funny and scary at the same time. Fortunately no one was injured. If the dog would have been in a crate or secured with a seat belt device that would not have happened.

If you’re going to transport your dog in the car do it safely. Secure your dog so they are not a distraction or become a missile in case of an accident. You seatbelt your kids don’t you? Dogs are family and should be cared for as well.

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