Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Safety in the Car

A dog trainer and friend of mine asked that I write a quick blurb reminding everyone about dogs in a car. You've all seen the dog that LOVES to ride with his head hanging out of the completely rolled down window. Most folks might say "oh, look at how he loves doing that". However, folks like myself and other dog savvy folks look at it and say "what is that owner thinking?"!!

Yes, dogs love to feel the wind in their face, but that doesn't mean it's safe for them. You wouldn't let your child hang their head out of the car window going down a street at 50 miles an hour, I'm sure. Sitting on your lap to boot while you drive. Yet, folks let their dogs do it all the time.

The worst isn't the head out the window, it's the fact that this dog isn't buckled in or safe at all. A quick stop and that head is in trouble.

Dogs should be either crated when you drive, or seat belted in. If they're crated (which is my favorite) please remember that the crate needs to be locked in, either with a seat belt, or a bungie cord. A crate that isn't safely tied down becomes a missile in an accident, flying forward or worse yet, out of the car.

Seat belts for dogs are GREAT. It's a harness, and the existing seat belt clips right onto it. The dog can stand, sit or lay down, but is safely belted in if a quick stop or worse, a roll over happens. Yes, you can have the window open and the dog can enjoy the wind coming into the car on his face!

My yorky is at his happiest when I'm in my little VW with the top down. He has a car seat, which is locked in by the seat belt. The car seat has clasps that hook onto his harness (seat belt harness). He's safe, he can see and he loves the wind in his hair. Being small, he is usually in his crate in the back seat with the seat belt through the handle. But, on a warm sunny day when the top can go down, Cork gets to ride in his favorite place.

Folks often say, well he's on the floor in the front, or the back, or he's in my lap, he's safe. Car''s roll, windows blow out, and don't forget the airbags! So keep them there dogs safe, just like we buckle up our kids and ourselves, so should you for your dogs.

It's a hot one today - stay cool and chill inside with your fur friend! Time for bones!

Take care
Deb Schneider
Corky the yorky, Everee the border collie and Eli the bloodhound

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