Car Rides and The Family Dog
Industry Warns Unrestrained Pets can Cause Serious Car Accidents
We've all seen it... Out of the window of the car ahead of you, is the head,
wagging tongue, flying spittle, flapping ears and blowing coat of a dog, or
worse, the dog is in the back of an open truck. One has to wonder if the homo
sapien who owns the dog has all of the brain cells provided to our species.
The usual argument is "but he loves it". This is why your dog needs a human
owner, because his species didn't invent cars, and he doesn't know any better.
You have to make wise decisions FOR him. Love it or not, there are road hazzards
inherent to this sort of travel.
Obviously, in the back of an open truck, the dog can fly out of the vehicle,
die, cause cars behind it to crash, and people to be injured or die. If chained
or teathered, it can fall out and strangle to death on the restraint mechanism,
or be dragged on the ground, or under the vehicle, if the restraint is too
long. All it takes, is for the vehicle to hit a bump, come to a sudden stop,
or turn a corner, and the dog is thrown from the pickup. Most States have
laws that restrict you from allowing the dog to ride unrestrained in the back
of a vehicle. After that, the dog in the back of a truck, and the dog with
his head out the window have other risks:
The boisterous animal can distract a driver, leading to a wreck [Horror
novelist Stephen King was nearly killed in June 1999 when he was hit by a
van while he was walking near his home in Maine. The driver said he veered
onto the shoulder of the road while he was trying to keep his dog from opening
Road debris flying with the speed of a bullet can kill your dog in an instant.
[In my early years of ER Nursing, I treated a man who had sudden eye pain
while driving his car. His car window was open. He had lost vision in the
eye, and the eye was filled with blood (Hyphema). X-ray revealed a bolt in
his eye, which had been propelled by the tire of another car, and into the
He can become ill from having cold air forced into his lungs.
Dust can get in his eyes, which can lead to eye irritation, or in his windpipe,
He is exposed to weather extremes.
If your car is side-swiped, protruding body parts will be literally sheared
from the animal.
Bodies inside the vehicle continue their forward momentum even when the
car has come to a sudden and unexpected stop. Imagine a 80-90 pound Labrador
thrusting foward in your direction from behind. Dogs traveling loose in the
car are a danger to the occupants, and it is in grave danger itself, should
an accident occur. Dogs are unable to brace themselves against swerves and
turns, animals can be thrown into dashboards, windows or floors. According
to some statistics I found, if you slam on the brakes at 30 mph, your 50-pound
dog could be tossed forward with a force equivalent to almost nine 170-pound
men. A Labrador can weigh 70-90 pounds or more.
There are doggie seatbelts available, which will protect the dog and the
occupants in a car accident, but dogs can chew through those. We all know
that Labradors love to chew. Fiberglass crates are by far the better option.
They can be secured in the back of a vehicle, and they serve as a protective
environment for both the car occupants and the dog. The dog is no longer a
distraction to the driver, it can not chew or destroy any contents within
the car, and it provides a safe environment in the event of an accident.
This is the crate that protected the life of Labrador Retriever Ch. Belgold
Moonlight Sonata ("Coalby"). She was riding in the crate when her owner's
car was hit head-on by another car. Her owner had multiple injuries, but survived,
thanks to her seatbelt and size of her vehicle. Coalby did not have a scratch.
I imagine her body would have looked similar to this crate, had she not been
in the crate. Coalby was taken in by a friend, and the following day made
her artificial Insemination appointment, and delivered a happy-healthy litter
nine weeks later. Her owner was almost completely healed by the time the
litter was born. The condition of this crate leaves nobody to doubt that Coalby
owes her life to her crate, and her owner who loved her enough to put her
Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car for any period of time.
On a warm day, the temperature in a car can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit
in a matter of minutes, even with the windows partially open. Your pet can
quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation when trapped
in high temperatures.
be marked LIVE ANIMAL.