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11 Tips to Keep your Dogs Safe in the Car

 by simone on 01 Jul 2014 |
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Dogs love being with their humans and humans love being with their dogs. That means that dogs also ride in cars but there are some very important tips to make sure that your pooch remains safe when road tripping.
1. Restraint, restraint, RESTRAINT!
You wouldn’t ever travel without wearing a seat belt, and would never let a child or infant travel unrestrained – it should be the same for your dog. In the case of an accident, your dog could be thrown completely out of the car, even in minor incidents. Unrestrained dogs can easily be injured even as a result of the smallest, slowest of accidents.
An unrestrained and excited dog can jump around, distract and interfere with the driver which is dangerous for everyone.
Another important reason for restraint is that after an accident, a scared dog can wander off and may be disorientated or injured or may obstruct or attack emergency personnel.
There are a number of restraining crates or carriers and harnesses you can choose that attach to seat belts. There are also nets and barriers, booster seats, hammocks and beds but these should only be used in combination with a harness.
Always, ALWAYS have your dog in a suitable restraint. In some places it’s actually the law and you can be fined for not complying.
2. Where to sit
The safest place for your dog is in the back seat or the cabin.
3. Identification
Your dog should have an identification tag with your address, family names and contact numbers in case of an emergency or if you become separated. 
4. Open windows
It may be the most joyous of activities for your pooch but letting them ride with their heads out of an open window is very dangerous. They can get debris in their eyes and ears, be injured by flying objects or hit by passing vehicles. Also, an unrestrained dog may jump out of an open window onto the road and into traffic. It’s also best to lock power-window controls so that your dog can’t accidentally open the window themselves.
5.  Be selective
Make sure that any harness, crate or carrier you choose has been crash-tested and meets safety standards. Purchase only reputable and trusted brands and look for warranties and good after-sales service.
6. The right fit
Just like child car seats and carriers, the right restraint is crucial to your dog’s safety. Ensure you have the correct crate or harness for your dog’s weight and size. The harness should fit your dog tightly enough to be effective but also be comfortable for them to wear.


7. Food and water
Have some water, a travel bowl and some dry food handy for your dog. This is necessary for long trips, but also advisable for shorter trips as you never know when you might get stuck in traffic. If the weather is warm your dog can get uncomfortable and thirsty very quickly. Food should only be given when the vehicle is stopped.
8. Stop regularly
When on long trips, stop every 2-3 hours to let your dog relieve themselves, stretch and move about. Have ample waste bags handy for cleaning up poop.
9. At your destination

Always put your dog’s leash on before you let them out of the vehicle.
10. Ramps
Consider a ramp for older or less mobile dogs to get in and out of the car. There are many lightweight, folding or telescopic ramps that can be easily carried and stored
11. Absolute no-nos
  • Never have your dog ride in the open bed of a pickup truck or ute even if tied. A sudden stop will throw them about and they will get injured.
  • Don’t leave your dog alone in a car without having windows or sunroof open a few inches for ventilation. In hot weather, never leave your dog in a car, not even for a few minutes. They are far more sensitive to the heat than us and can develop heat exhaustion, suffer organ failure and die in a very short period of time.
For more information check out the following Pet Bucket reviews on dog safety and car products:
Seat belts
Car beds



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