Car safety for dogs
Car rides for a lot of dogs are an enjoyable experience. Lots of dogs get extremely excited when they realize they are going for a ride. Perhaps your dog is like this; and perhaps you enjoy taking your dog with you on errands, or just out for a breath of fresh air. Dog owners take their dogs to the park, on vacation, and even tagging along to appointments. Vets tell us, however, that there are some safety precautions that dog owners should take when traveling with dogs to ensure everyone's safety.
According to vets, it is a good idea to restrain your dog while riding in the car. If you have any type of car with a trunk open to the inside of the car or with some other vehicles, 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 will insure that your dog will not fly forward into the windshield if you stop suddenly and short. Lots of dogs try to climb into the front seat—this can be distracting to the dog owner, who should be concentrating on driving the car. This can be dangerous and may cause accidents. It is always a good idea to restrain your pet while driving so that you can concentrate on the road.
Dog owners who drive a pickup truck should not let dogs ride free in the pickup bed. This can create a dangerous situation for the dog and other drivers if your dog falls out or decides to jump out. Some dog owners believe that their dog would never jump out of the truck! Vets tell us that dogs are creatures of instinct, and may not be able to contain their excitement if they see a rabbit, squirrel, or another dog, etc., on the side of the road. Dogs that ride without restraints in the pickup bed may also go flying if you stop short and suddenly. Tying the dog in the bed is not a good idea either as the dog 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.
Most dogs that enjoy riding in cars also enjoy sticking their heads out the window to feel the breeze rush past their faces. This may be a fun activity but it can also be dangerous. The driver of your vehicle may side-swipe another car or object on the side of the road, or the dog may get dirt, gravel, etc. in his eyes. To eliminate some of these hazards, just open the window a little bit so your dog can still feel the breeze flowing past his head; he should not be able to stick his head all the way out of the window.
Vet professionals tell dog owners to never leave dogs in the car with windows completely rolled up as this can be a very serious mistake. Even if you leave the car for a few minutes, this can cause harm or even death to a dog. In the summer the interior of cars can reach almost 150°F within a short amount of time. Some dog owners think that nothing can happen to their pets with the windows cracked; however, car temperatures can sometimes be very high in a parked car. If you have to leave your dog in the car, open several windows and try to park in a shady area to keep you pet safe for overexposure to hot car temperatures. For further safety recommendations for dog owners who have dogs that love to ride in cars, consult with your personal vet.