Car Safety for Canines

Many dogs really enjoy going for “car rides.” Most dogs cannot contain their excitement upon hearing these words and realizing that they are going for a ride. If your dog is like this, it can be great fun to take your dog all over the place: to the park, on vacation, even tagging along with you on errands! However, there are some safety precautions that you should take when traveling with your dog to ensure everyone’s safety.

It is always a good idea to restrain your dog while riding in the car. If you have an SUV, station wagon, van, or any type of car with a trunk open to the inside of the car, you can have your dog ride in the back separated from you by a gate or a net. If you have a regular car, there are special dog seat-belts and other types of restraints available. This insures that your dog will not come flying forward into the windshield if you stop short. A lot of dogs are always trying to climb into the front seat and distracting their owner from the serious business of driving. This can be very dangerous and can cause an accident. So always restrain your dog while driving and you will be able to concentrate on the road.

If you own a pickup truck, it is strongly discouraged to let your dog ride free in the pickup bed. This can create an extremely dangerous situation for your dog and other drivers on the road if your dog falls out or decides to jump out. Do not believe that your dog would never jump out of the truck! Dogs are creatures of instinct, and may not be able to contain their excitement if they see a rabbit, squirrel, another dog, or who knows what on the side of the road. Also, if your dog is riding free in the pickup bed, he may go flying if you stop short. Tying the dog in the bed is not a good solution because he may still jump or fall out and wind up being choked or dragged along the road! The best and safest solution is to have your dog ride in the cab of the truck with you.

Almost every dog who enjoys riding in the car also enjoys sticking his head out the window and feeling the breeze rush past his face. While this may be a fun activity, it can be dangerous. You may side-swipe another car or object on the side of the road, or your dog may get dirt, gravel, etc. in his eyes. The best solution is to open the window a little bit so your dog can still feel the breeze flowing past his head but cannot stick his head all the way out of the window.

Finally, NEVER leave your dog in the car with the windows completely rolled up for any amount of time!! This can be a deadly mistake, even if you only leave the car for a few minutes. In the summer the interior of your car can reach temperatures of almost 150°F within an extremely short amount of time. Even with the windows cracked, the temperature can sometimes be exceedingly high in a parked car. If you must leave your dog in the car, open multiple windows and try to park in a shady area.

Riding in the car with your dog can be a fun and enjoyable activity for everyone if you follow these simple safety recommendations. Want to go for a car ride?