Traveling In The Car With Dog Passengers

Greetings all my fellow canines !  I love to ride in the car.  I have a harness that attaches to the seat belt restraints in the back of our family's cars.

Because it's still summertime, I read a lot about not leaving pets in the car even with windows rolled down.  Every year many pets die from being overheated when left in a car.  In my humble opinion, no pet should be left in a car for any reason. If mom or dad are running errands, leave us home where we are safe.

How about the dogs I see hanging their heads out of car windows?  Or the dogs jumping around in the front, back, and all over the car.  I've seen some riding free in truck beds.

Question:  Would a human child run all over the car without restraint?

What happens if there is an accident?  A dog on a lap can be hit by the air bag and/or crushed by the steering wheel.  I don't even want to picture that.  How about the dog running off in the aftermath of the accident?

I checked with some local veterinarians and they agree they've seen their share of dogs with debris in the eyes from hanging out the window, as well as dogs with injuries from car accidents.

So, here are some suggestions for dog pet parents:

  • Restraints - Great for keeping a small or medium dog in the back seat area.
  • Crates - attached to the back seat belts.
  • Barriers especially made to keep large dogs in the back of SUVs (although they really need to be restrained there too).

If we are going on a longer ride or trip,  I would love my pet parents to bring along a few things for me, like a spill resistant bowl, FOOD, TREATS, water, toys,  and for long trips,  a pet first aid kit.  To minimize hair all over the car, put down towels or even a comfy mat or bed for me.  Don't forget to make sure I have my I.D. on my collar (I am also microchipped).  If I get away in a strange area I can be identified.  Most important, don't forget my TREATS !

There are very few laws in place to compel pet owners to keep pets safe, but I know of one car company that has produced a very pet friendly vehicle:  The Honda Element.

As your travel reporter, let me say a few last things:  I would love to hang out the window and bounce all over the car covering my family with kisses.  I know, however, that they love me enough to want me to be safe.  I don't mind going to the vet, but if your dog gets nervous riding because that is where they always go in the car, try taking some rides that are just for hanging out and having fun. Car rides are great fun if you keep safety in mind.

Oliver, Certified Canine Community Reporter