Updated: Feb 26
Unfortunately, there isn’t anything out there yet that can provide the same safety for dogs in an accident as there are for us. Luckily there are a few things you can do to help reduce the chances of a devastating accident taking the life of you or your beloved pet.
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An Aware Driver is a Safe Driver
You’ll want to make sure they’re in a position that will keep them from getting too restless and thus becoming a distraction on the road. Surprisingly not every dog enjoys going for a drive, If your dog gets anxious during car rides you’ll want to condition your dog to remain calm while in a moving vehicle. Start with short drives to get them accustomed to riding in the car. Most dogs will get used to it after time — it’s important to exercise your judgment in that scenario. A meal should either be given after the ride or 3 hours before to reduce car sickness and a mess. It would also be advisable to not give them treats during the ride because the movements could cause them to choke while you may not be able to do anything about it. On longer drives, you’ll want to schedule plenty of rest stops for the both of you. It’s always good to stretch your legs during lengthy road travels anyway.
Those are easy habits to make, but what about securing them? There are several different options with different risks. Allowing your pet to roam free in the car is just like if you don’t wear a seat belt. It could break bones in sudden stops to rocketing them through the front window in a crash. Anything to reduce that risk is a plus.
I would like to recommend this Crate, Hammock, and Barrier. These provide some protection from sudden stops to small impacts. These are best suited for shorter drives where you can keep fully aware of oncoming risks and you can monitor your speed easily. All are easy to install and if you’re only doing neighborhood drives to parks or in slow traffic, this might be a great option for you.
In longer journeys where the risk is higher, you will want to secure them with a specially made car harness that covers more surface area; much like a seatbelt for you and I. It will keep the impact from causing as much damage as it would if you weren’t wearing a safety belt at all. Doing some research, I have come to really like this Harness by Ruffwear. It has gone through loads of testing, has high ratings, and is affordable as that extra safety percussion.
It’s important to be aware of the risks when taking your pet on the road and how to reduce the chances of catastrophe. Unfortunately, there is not a way to be sure they will be as safe in a moving vehicle as you, but there is power in knowledge. I have given some links above to different options in securing your animal and ways to help keep distractions to a minimum. With that, I would like to wish you and your pup safe travels!
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