The other day while I was out driving to an appointment, I noted a large number of drivers who had little dogs sitting in their laps while they were driving. Some of these dogs were even partially hanging out of the driver's window. While this looks cute to some and is great fun for the dog it is, however, really dangerous for the dog.
Most dogs love to ride in the car looking at all the sights on the way to the park or the beach and anticipating all the fun they are going to have. It does not matter where you and your beloved dog are going - it is up to you to ensure they arrive there safely.
In a collision, an unrestrained dog can act like a missile exerting a force of up to 20 times its actual weight - with the potential to injure passengers as well as itself. According to Police Traffic Service "The worst place for dogs is in the front seat of the car,". A dog will sit with his head far closer to the dashboard than any human passenger. And, airbags which are designed with adult human passengers in mind, if you do not know this, deploy at speeds up to 200 MPH and do not fully inflate until they are at least 12 inches from the dash. The impact from an airbag that has not fully inflated can cause serious or fatal injuries to dogs.
So be sure to always restrain yourself and your dog from being tossed around during a collision, a sudden stop or a sharp turn. Restraining your dog will keep him safe by preventing him from escaping and or interfering with first responders should you be in an accident. Imagine, if you would, you have an accident and your dog is tossed out of the window and he is lucky enough to survive the collision but he is now frightened to death while he is loose on the side of the road or in the middle of an intersection.
So remember, if you love your dog keep him safe. And, the safest way for him to travel is strapped into a harness in the back seat or secure in a crate in the cargo area of your car.
You can find good quality used crates on Craigs List and safety harnesses and crates at your local pet supply store.
Have a safe and happy summer and see you in the fall!
Lee, Roman and Madeline