You may have seen my post yesterday about how dangerous it is to leave your dog inside a hot vehicle and asked, “Would it be okay to put the dog in my truck bed?” If your dog rides to wherever inside your truck cab, then you tether him in the bed while you go into a store, that might be okay, as long as you have provided shade, water, and a way to keep the dog from burning his or her foot pads on the hot metal bed. Riding in the truck bed, however, is a big no-no. According to one study cited by KHQA, as many as 100,000 dogs die each year from riding in truck beds. Here’s why, from the American Veterinary Medical Association:
Injuries incurred by dogs falling or jumping from truck beds or falling within truck beds are less common than injuries incurred by free-roaming dogs struck by vehicles. However, like injuries resulting from vehicular strikes, truck bed injuries tend to be severe and multiple and include fractures and abrasions. A survey of veterinarians in Massachusetts found 141 practitioners (71% of those surveyed) had treated a total of 592 dogs that year that were injured as a result of riding in a truck bed. Data relating to dogs are limited, but data collected regarding human truck bed passengers indicate they are at significantly greater risk of injury than passengers riding in the cab. Riding in a truck bed may place dogs in contact with shifting loads sufficient to cause injuries and, if the truck bed is uncovered, expose them to road dust, debris, and heated metal surfaces.
The AVMA article also points out that, although a tether may prevent ejection, it can also strangle or drag the dog. If you choose to put your dog in a kennel in the truck bed, make sure the kennel is securely tied down, and the dog has enough room to turn around and lie down in the crate.
In some states, the practice of dogs riding in open truck beds has been outlawed, so check before you go, or better yet, get your dog a seatbelt and put him/her in the cab with you.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!