How To Keep Your Dog Safe When Traveling In A Car
Author: Kerri Irwin, Trailblazer
Being safe in the car isn't just for humans. Your dog is your furchild and as much as you want them to be comfortable and happy in the car and to roam freely, you may want to rethink your relaxed ways.
According to a study by AAA, “even for smaller pets traveling at just 30 miles per hour, an unrestrained 10 pound dog will exert 300 pounds of pressure in an accident,” which is potentially a lethal blow for both passenger and pet. Thankfully, there are many ways to safely restrain your dog in the car to keep them safe!
Dog Car Barrier
Barriers are a great way to keep dogs out of the driver's space and eliminate distracted driving. Also, in a case of an accident the dog will not become a projectile and hit any of the passengers or go through the front window. Remember to keep your windows locked so the dog can't accidentally roll down a window and jump out. We really liked this barrier for keeping your dogs out of the driver's lap. PC: @ccmtndogs
Dog Car Harness
Car Harnesses are another great way to restrain your dog and keep them safe when you're on your way to the next big adventure. There are many harnesses on the market most will clip on to a seat belt in the vehicle to keep your dog away from the driver and passengers during travel or a car accident. We really like the ones from Kurgo. PC: @mirandashea24
Not all travel kennels are created equal -- plastic can fail during a crash. Impact dog crates are lightweight aluminum and create a safe place for your dog during travel. This is a great option for dogs that may get stressed when traveling! Not every dog likes long car rides, and this crate creates a safe place. We use the stationary crate from Impact crates. This crate doesn't fold, so if there is a crash the crate will not fail. If you are interested in this crate you can use "DUSTY20" for 20% off your crate!
Regardless of the restraint style, you choose for your dogs be sure it is used properly and is crash safety approved. Securing your dogs in your vehicle can save their lives (and your own)!
Some tips to make sure your dog stays safe in the car when traveling:
- Dogs shouldn’t roam in the car. The safest way for your dog to travel in the car is in a crate that has been anchored to the vehicle using a seatbelt or other secure means. Dog restraints or seat belts are useful for preventing your dog from roaming around the car and being a distraction to the driver, but they haven’t been reliably shown to protect dogs during a crash.
- Leave the front seat for humans and keep your pet in the back seat of the car. If an airbag deploys while your pet is in the passenger seat (even in a crate), it might injure your pet.
- Keep those heads inside! Dogs and cats should always be kept safely inside the car. Pets who are allowed to stick their heads out the window can be injured by particles of debris or made sick by having cold air forced into their lungs. Never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck.
- Give your pet plenty of rest stops and stop frequently to allow your pet to exercise and eliminate. But never permit your pet to leave the car without a collar, ID tag and leash.
- Don’t ever leave your pet alone in a car. A quick pit stop may feel like no time at all to you, but it’s too long to leave your pet in a car by themselves. Heat is a serious hazard: when it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees within an hour. On an 85-degree day, even with the windows slightly open, the temperature inside your car can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. Even if you’re certain of your timing, you can get held up — in just 30 minutes, you could return to a 120 degree car and a pet suffering irreversible organ damage or death.
- Use crash-tested crates. Crates are the best option to ensure your dog's safety when traveling, especially in your car.
- Turn off power windows.
- If you aren't sure of your state's laws regarding pet travel, click here. It's better to be safe than sorry!
Keep up with Kerri's adventures on Instagram: @dustydesertdogs
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