With over 43 million households with pets in the US, there are plenty of dogs on the road. Many dog owners like to have their pals with them in the car, whether that’s a quick run through town or a multi-day road trip.
The downside is that dogs are regularly involved in car accidents which can, at the very least, scare or shock them or cause injuries. Sadly, sometimes, dogs can be seriously injured with broken bones and spinal damage, or even killed. According to an Automobile Association of America survey, only 16 percent of dog owners use proper restraints that can minimize the chances of injury or death to a dog in case of an accident.
If you truly want to be a responsible dog owner, take a look at these eight ways to keep your pet safe when they’re in the car.
1. Keep them in a crate when in the car.
Hard and soft sided crates can be used, but they need to be latched down.
2. Line the crate with blankets.
At least it gives them a soft place to lay down on the way to the park, but it will also provide extra protection in case of impact.
3. Install a back seat barrier.
For bigger dogs and smaller vehicles, a back seat barrier can keep your dog secured safely in the back.
4. Buckle them in with a dog seatbelt.
Yes, there are such things. Yes, they work.
5. Don’t let them hang out of the window.
Your dog may love to do it whenever they are in the car, but it’s not safe in the event of an accident. At the very least, the debris that blows into dogs’ ears when they do this can be very irritating and cause injury and tenderness.
6. Keep your dog in the back seat.
A deploying airbag can be deadly to a dog. They need to stay in the back seat no matter how much you envisioned your boy riding shotgun.
7. Small dogs can use pet car seats.
Car baskets work too.
8. Final safety tips.
Bring along plenty of drinking water and avoid leaving your dog in the car alone. Even with the windows open, cars heat fast.
If you have to run into a shop or a restroom and it’s less than 70-degrees outside, five minutes max should be okay.
The key is to keep your dog restrained, preferably to the back seat, to keep accident-related injuries to a minimum. And, perhaps a more immediate benefit is to let you drive without the distraction of a dog jumping around the car or falling into your lap.
Taking your dog places is fun for them and for you, but keep it safe–restrain your dog.
Got any tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!