Dogs And Cars
Are We There Yet?
What is it with dogs and cars? When the family trip rolls by each year, there's the dog, hopping in the back seat, head already hanging out the window, tongue waving expectantly. Dogs seem to naturally enjoy the thrill of traveling down the interstate at sixty miles an hour. An important question is, "What happens if you're in an accident?" What is the best way to properly restrain your animal while in a moving vehicle?
Whether you are starting a ten hour excursion, or a simple trip to the vet, your dog needs to be restrained properly. This is to insure the safety of the animal and the safety of humans. For the same reasons the seatbelt was made for humans, dogs need some form of restraint as well. If an accident occurs, an unsecured dog will fly through the air, becoming an airborne missile. This will, most likely, kill the dog. Any type of airborne missile flying through the air in the event of a crash has a chance of hitting human occupants in the vehicle, causing severe damage.
Unfortunately, seatbelts aren't very helpful when strapping your dog in place. There are, however, some pretty good methods available to secure your dog while riding in a car.
The first method is the harness system. This is simply a regular harness that is put on the dog, with a leash attached to it, hooking to the seatbelt. This does a pretty good job in securing the dog, although the dog can still shift around, slide, etc. This also takes up seating room that could be used for people. So large families, might have a hard time using this type of dog restraint.
The second way of restraining your dog is through a protective barrier. This is some metal poles attached to the back portion of the vehicle, letting the dog roam free in the back, bed area making no contact with the passengers seated in the front. This is really helpful if you have a large dog, because the barrier keeps the dog in the back where he belongs. This method is not well suited for smaller breed dogs, because it offers no safety to the dog at all. Also the type of barrier at the left is suited for trucks and SUVs.
Probably the best way to keep your dog safe and secure is by using a crate. I know the dog will probably rather stick its head out the window, but the crate is the safest method for keeping both you and your animal safe from harm. This type of crate pictured to the right opens from the side, perfect for minivans, and or SUVs. This particular type also folds for easy storage.