Car Safety for Dog Owners
Whether your dog is the sort that’s always excited to go for a ride in the car or would rather just go for a walk, there will be times when you need to take your dog somewhere with you. Before you and your furry friend get on the road, remember to brush up on car safety for dog owners so you can ensure you both get where you’re going safely.
While you may love to experience your dog’s excitement over every new breeze coming through the window or car you pass, your dog can be a dangerous distraction. This can especially be the case when your pooch has a habit of roaming around the passenger compartment instead of staying in one place. In fact, even the dog calmly sitting in your lap can still slow down your reaction time.
The absolute safest way to transport your dog is in a crate or some type of a harness. Also, remember that your passenger side airbags can pack a lot of force, so the front seat is just as dangerous for dogs as it is for small children. Not only will keeping your dog properly restrained in the backseat help you be a safer driver, but it will also keep your dog safe in the event of a traffic accident.
Unfortunately, not every errand you have to run on the way home from the dog park will be a pet-friendly destination. Before you leave your dog in the car while you run inside for just a few minutes, remember that people who walk by your car won’t know how long your dog has been alone. In some extreme cases, people have begun breaking the windows of vehicles with a dog inside. In other cases, they go so far as to steal the dog.
It’s also important to remember that it doesn’t have to be a scorcher outside to rapidly heat the inside of your vehicle, even in the shade and with the windows rolled down. While it may be more convenient to run all your errands before taking your dog home, it’s definitely not the safer, kinder option unless your dog can accompany you into each location.
It’s a common misconception that all dogs love car rides. Not all do. In fact, some dogs can get downright anxious and panicky at the mention of going for a ride in the car. In these instances, trying to leave your dog alone in the car for even a moment can result in destructive behaviors.
If you don’t like the idea of your dog going into meltdown mode every time you have to take them to the vet or the groomers, consider taking them on short drives around the block to help them get acclimated to traveling in their crate. It’s also possible that your dog doesn’t like the car because the destination is always the vet. In this case, try to vary where you take them. Your dog may grow more comfortable with car rides if the end result is often a trip to the park or beach.