Vehicle Safety

Traveling for the holidays? If you’re taking your dog, it’s important that you follow some basic safety rules to keep your pet safe on the road.

First and foremost, restrain your dog whenever the vehicle is in motion. You wouldn’t let your kids ride without being buckled in, so why would you put your dog at the same risk? Crates are a great way to keep your dog contained and out of your way while you’re trying to concentrate on the road, but for long trips, that may seem a little cruel. Another option is to tether your dog with a seatbelt. It keeps the dog out of your personal space and prevents ejections in case of a wreck.

Dogs belong in the back seat, where they will not be quite as distracting.

We all love the look of pure joy on a dog’s face when he is hanging his head out of the window, ears flapping in the breeze; however, even small flying objects can embed themselves in your dog’s eyes, and large objects can cause blunt force trauma. Use doggles if you’re going to allow the dog to stick his or her head out of the window, and only allow it at lower speeds on surface (non-highway) roads.

Before you leave, make sure your dog’s microchip records and tag reflect current contact information for you, especially your cell phone number, since you won’t be home to answer your landline.

Also, pre-plan for what you will do with your dog if you are traveling far enough that you will need to make stops. Your dog should never be left alone in a vehicle, even if you don’t think it’s hot out.

Last, but not least, never, NeVeR, NEVER allow your dog to ride in the back of an open pick-up truck. They can and do jump out in traffic. And if they are leashed, they are likely to strangle themselves. American Humane estimates at least 100,000 dogs die from riding in truck beds every year.

Stay safe so you can enjoy your holidays, however you choose to celebrate.

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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