Health Tip: Loose Dogs in Cars

Restrain your dog when she’s in your car.

Have you seen slow-motion videos of what happens to items in a car that’s in a head-on collision?  Everything not tied down or seat-belted continues to travel forward – coffee mugs, purses, backpacks, tablets.  And dogs.

An unrestrained dog in your car can become a projectile – injuring human passengers in the car and being injured as well.  If a car rolls over and windows break, an unrestrained dog can get out of the car, and now is a hazard on the road or busy highway. A dog propelled into the back of a seat can sustain serious injuries such as broken bones or neck and back injuries.

Small dogs allowed to roam while you’re driving can also get under the driver’s feet and impede braking. If, while driving, you’re looking to see where your dog is, you’re taking your eyes off the road.  This is a recipe for an accident, or hitting a bicyclist or pedestrian.

Letting your dog hang her head out the window is also an accident waiting to happen. Pebbles and small gravel can be thrown from other cars’ tires and hit your dog in the face. Facial injuries can include blindness, broken teeth or death.

Restrain your dog in a harness or in a crate that’s secured to the car interior that has PASSED a safety- and reliability test by an independent testing agency.  (Just having the item tested does not mean it passed the test.)

If you already have a car harness or crate for your dog, check the manufacturer’s website to find out if their product passed a safety test.  If it hasn’t, ask them to submit their products for testing. And purchase a car harness or crate that has.  For the love (and safety) of your dog.

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