Your Dog’s Safety Inside A Car
By Ben Kersen
If you were involved in a car accident, would your dog be safe? If your dog is free in the car, it could be thrown into a window, out of the car, or otherwise injured.
At Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs we believe in safety first. The following are options for save travel for your dog:
|1. Traveling crates: many people crate their dogs in a vehicle. This will be the safest if the crates themselves are thoroughly secured to the body of the vehicle.
2. Seatbelts: there are now a variety of dog seatbelt products that can be used in conjunction with human seatbelts.
3. Dividers: in station wagons and vans, dividers can be secured in a vehicle to create a special place for your dog. In pick-up trucks, your dog(s) may ride in a sturdy, canopy-enclosed box. This option obviously isn’t as safe as the other two options as your dog can still be tossed a good distance in the event of an accident.
Traveling crates, dog seatbelts, and dividers can be purchased at most pet shops. Of course, these alternatives are only going to work if you use them consistently. If you have two or three dogs, ‘ buckling up ‘ before every drive can be time consuming. You will need to judge the value of the companionship and petting time you and your dog (s) share when they can sit beside you against the need for these vehicle safety measures.
Heat in Cars
If the temperature rises to 20°C outside, a dog left in a car may be at risk. With direct sunlight, the temperature in your car will rise dramatically. Even with all four windows open, a dog can suffer heat stroke very quickly on a hot day. Heat stroke can be fatal. In hot weather, parking in the shade or using sun reflector blankets to cover the front window can help, but they are no guarantee of safety. Always avoid leaving your dog in a hot car for its comfort, as well as its safety.
The “‘Houdini Dog'” syndrome can strike if you leave your car windows open too wide. The rule of thumb is that the window should not be open wider than the dog’s head. If a dog can get its head out the window, then it CAN get the rest of its body out.
Just a reminder: car doors are heavy and can cause serious injury. So when putting “Fido” in the car, hold the door until you are absolutely sure that all dog parts and the entire leash are well inside the car. Also, never slam the car door. Close it slowly holding the handle in case of “doggie door dash”.
When driving, the last thing you need is a hairy projectile ricocheting around the car. Also, never let your dog fire out through the car door as soon as it is opened. Teach him/her to sit and wait until given your “okay” to exit safely (more to come on this topic in an upcoming video blog). Car manners are easily taught with a little time and consistency. This a service that Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs provide. Visit our website for more information: www.wonderdogs.ca.
Until Next Time,
Ben Kersen & the Wonderdogs