Driving with Your Dog
Dog Car Safety
When it comes to driving with dogs, many pet owners focus on the actual transportation aspect. Getting a dog to go inside a vehicle is difficult and making sure he’s comfortable is even harder. However, one of your first priorities is to ensure a safe environment for your pet.
Seat belts are not only reserved for humans, but for dogs as well. Statistics have shown that 64 percent of car accidents resulting in serious trauma for humans was the result of not wearing a seat belt. Your dog can experience similar trauma if unrestrained. For example, a 20-pound dog involved in a car crash with a vehicle going 50 miles per house can become a projectile that is able to exert 1,000 pounds of force against whatever it hits.
The Automobile Association of America (AAA) estimates unrestrained pets cause more than 30,000 accidents per year. With that in mind, it’s important to keep your dog secured with the right seat belt.
Safe Driving Tips
Choose a Dog Seat Belt
Seat belt systems come in various choices to keep your dog restrained and contained while driving. The most common type is a dog crate. Dog crates are fixed and secure boxes. When trained to ride in this manner, your dog can enjoy hours in his crate during a long family trip or even a short jaunt to the vet’s office without being an unsafe distraction to the driver.
Another system that has been recently developed is the Roadie by Ruff Rider Corp., which can protect up to 5,000 pounds of force whether your dog weighs seven or 160 pounds.
Whether your pet is in a carrier or strapped with a harness, it is always recommended that dogs ride in the back seat of a vehicle. A relatively small fender bender that causes an airbag to deploy can cause a lot of harm to a dog in the front passenger’s seat, as the force from the airbag is strong enough to crush a pet carrier.
Start with Shorter Trips First
Once you’ve selected the right seat belt system for your dog, consult with a professional dog trainer. He can train your dog to get used to the restraint system during short trips, which then progresses into longer trips.
Your dog is a member of your family. Knowing car safety tips is key to protecting your dog both on and off the road.
Which dog seat belt do you use?