Running errands or going on road trips with your furry friend is an increasingly common practice these days. Unfortunately, most drivers don’t consider the dangers posed by having an unrestrained dog in the car. Keep reading to learn of common dangers associated with driving in the company of an unrestrained dog, and some need to know safety tips.
A Road Paved with Good Intentions
“My dog is calm and doesn’t move around.”
“My dog is too small to cause a problem.”
“I can protect my dog better if he’s in my lap.”
Above are just some of the excuses used to justify allowing dogs unlimited access in cars. While these sentiments surely come from a place of love, they don’t negate the potential for distraction and harm.
Potential Driving Dangers
It is dangerous to have any dog, even a small one, lying in your lap while you drive. They could unexpectedly jump up and knock the steering wheel, block your vision or throw your car out of gear. Fido could crawl onto the floor and inhibit your ability to properly operate the pedals.
A dog riding with his head out an open car window makes most people smile. However, it’s actually an invitation for problems. Watching the faces Fido makes takes your attention off the road. Your dog may try to jump out to chase something, forcing you to focus on keeping him in the car.
Even a dog that normally rides well in the back seat may be tempted to jump into the front. Whether he lands on your lap or goes for the passenger seat, you’ll be focused on calming him down verses driving.
An unrestrained dog is also vulnerable to injury when you break, redirecting your attention from a potentially dangerous road situation to protecting your dog from harm.
Tips to Minimize the Risks
Here are some key tips for a safe car ride with your pet.
- To help avoid spastic behavior from your canine while driving, let Fido get used to smaller car rides and slowly increase the distance as he gets more comfortable.
- Never allow your pet to sit on your lap or in the front of the car while driving.
- Avoid unnecessary injury by keeping your pet away from the bed of your pickup truck. If a car accident occurs, your dog will have no protection.
- To avoid miscellaneous objects injuring your pet, do not allow Fido to stick his head out the window.
- The final step to eliminating the distractions of driving with your dog is quite simple (no, you don’t have to leave him at home): restrain him in either a specialized harness or crate. Getting the right apparatus is key to keeping your dog comfortable, but a proper restraint not only keeps your focus on the road; it also keeps your dog safe.
Adding the above steps to your driving regime when traveling with Fido will help keep you and your canine family member safe. You can also help protect your dog from harmful free radicals by giving him NuVet Labs supplements. Protect your dog with NuVet Plus K-9 and by restraining him in the car.