It only makes sense. When we load the children in the car, we don’t even give it a second thought. In the car seat they go, belted and buckled. Once we get settled, we buckle up before starting the car. So why don’t we, as loving pet parents, take the same safety precautions for our canine travelers? In a safe dog travel study conducted it found that “only 16 percent of dog lovers are using restraints when traveling with dogs by car.” That’s amazingly low when you consider the lengths we go through to provide our dogs with the best dog food and the best veterinarian care.
Why Should You Secure Your Dog in the Car?
From the statistic found in the study, it’s obvious that pet parents need to change their routine. It’s not so far back that we didn’t even buckle ourselves up, but look at us now. It’s really fun to watch our dogs hang their heads out of the window and take the air in, squinted eyes and flapping mouths. But here are some important reasons why restraining our dogs is a good idea:
- Protects your dog from harm in case of a crash
- Prevents him from opening or lowering a window on his own
- Keeps him in a safe seat location, away from any seats with airbags
- Gets us prepared for the eventual time when your state regulates the transport of dogs
- Lessens driver distractions (almost 1/3 of drivers admit to being distracted by their dog)
- Protects your human passengers from the force of a flying dog in a crash
- Makes it easier to safely leash your dog when you make it to your destination
- Allows emergency personnel to act efficiently in the case of an emergency, instead of being concerned of being bitten
Related: Dealing with Dog Car Sickness
Ways to Secure Your Dog in a Car
The best choice will depend on several factors including the layout of your car and the size of your dog. Some options include:
- Carrier or Crate: Smaller dogs are often transported in carriers that you can buckle in so they don’t go flying in case of a sudden stop. Large dogs are better secured in crates as long as you have a larger car.
- Booster Seat: A good option for smaller dogs. Your dog would sit in the booster seat while wearing a chest harness that’s secured to the seat. It still allows easy access to your dog, as opposed to a carrier, and gives your dog a good view of the outside from the raised seat.
- Car Harness: This option works for most size dogs. The harness will buckle into the seat belt or clip to a cargo tie-down. Some styles even allow you to walk your dog with the harness in place.
Related: Could You Save Your Dog’s Life?
Better Safe than Sorry
The safety of our family members is first and foremost on our minds before backing out of the driveway, even if we’re just running a few errands. A few changes in your pre-trip routine to buckle up your pooch can be a lifesaver in the event of an accident and will make the overall driving environment safer for everyone. Happy travels!
Related: Fido Friendly Vacations
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