Dog owners who take their pets out on the road may not be thinking about dog car safety, but it’s an essential part of responsible driving. Taking a chance on your dogs health, as well as potential accidents from driver distraction, is unacceptable. Here are some easy ways to protect your dog, yourself and others, when traveling with your pets.
Keep Dogs Out of Forward Areas
One basic rule is to keep dogs out of the front seat, the dashboard, and other forward areas of the vehicle, unless they are properly secured. A small dog sleeping on your dashboard is vulnerable to falling with even the slightest of disruptions. In an emergency braking situation, that dog could become a hurtling missile with a great deal of physical force. Some drivers also have problems with their pets trying to get their attention while they are driving. This can be extremely unsafe for everyone. Make sure your pets are safely away from you and out of your view while you’re behind the wheel.
Even in the back of the vehicle, a loose dog can fly forward in a braking emergency or accident. There are several good ways to deal with this. You can choose a kennel cage, which is often the safest option. A dog seat belt or car safety harness is another alternative. Either of these options protects the dog from putting their face or paws out of open windows. Dogs leaping from vehicles through open windows also cause accidents. Drivers who are really devoted to traveling with their pets can also install a pet partition across the back of the vehicle. A simple loose mesh can be an effective barrier, but make sure it is something your dog will not get tangled up in.
Other Common Sense Safety Rules
Beyond these basic tips, there is more for dog safety that dog owners should always keep in mind. Don’t allow dogs to ride in the back of a pickup truck or other open areas. Another consideration is for hot climates and seasons. While your dogs are locked in the vehicle, please be sure they have sufficient ventilation. The interior of the vehicle can become extremely hot, even on a day with only moderate temperatures.
Benefits of Dog Car Safety
Securing your pets will help ensure that they will not be injured while traveling. This will also be an effective protection against some types of accidents. Further, restricting your pets access to your vehicle interior will save you where on the vehicle that can be valuable in a resale situation. For pets who shed a lot, it’s important to limit the hair and dander that gets spread all over the interior, as these can be very hard to vacuum out. Pet safety precautions will also protect you as a dog owner from claims of animal abuse or neglect. Do the right thing and take the necessary steps to protect your dog while they are traveling with you.