At some point in an animal’s life, they will board a vehicle. Some go for daily rides, others get in the car only when they have to go to the vet. Certain pets love it, others may hate it. Either way, when your best friend gets in the car with you, ask yourself—how safe are they?
Cars aren’t built with animal seatbelts, which makes it pretty dangerous (for you, for your pet and for other drivers) to drive around with an unsecured pet. Hazardous scenarios can include:
- Pets finding their way down to the driver’s side of the vehicle and blocking the brakes or accelerator pedal
- Pets climbing onto a driver’s lap to stick their head out the window, impairing the driver’s road view
- Pets being an overall distraction (barking, pawing, licking) to a driver, causing them to lose their focus
- Pets being in the vicinity of an exploding airbag
- In the case of an accident, pets being flung out of a window
Dogs also love to stick their head out of a car window! While this is fun for them and cute to observe, it can be dangerous. Their faces can be struck by debris, insects or stationary objects your vehicle is passing. It is not at all uncommon for us to treat dogs with eye injuries or irritation from this activity.
Let’s not forget the importance of dog safety in truck beds. Canines who hang out in the bed of a moving truck have a high risk of being injured or killed. They could fall or jump off the bed, get struck by airborne objects and, if they’re tethered, they could easily get strangled or they could fall off the truck and get dragged behind the car.
So how should you safely transport a pet in a car? Animals need to be protected through either a travel harness or a secured pet carrier. This goes for truck beds, too. If they are in the back of a truck, make sure the carrier is well-ventilated. And please always of course use overall common sense when you’re transporting a pet in a vehicle.
Remember, pet car safety isn’t just important for you and your pet, it’s important for other drivers and pedestrians, too. If you need assistance on finding a good pet carrier for your best friend, or if you have any additional questions, we encourage you to contact us at 503-446-2450.