I frequently take my dogs places with me- so much so that whenever I open the door to leave they are by my side, ready to go in the car. In fact, they know that when I say “in” that means to get in the car. Not long after we got Hershey, I heard about a local car accident where one of the drivers had a dog in their car that wasn’t buckled in so when paramedics arrived & opened the door the dog bolted from the car.* This scared me so bad; I kept thinking ‘How would Hershey react?’ and realistically, most dogs run when they’re scared.
Let’s go over some statistics from PetPro Supply Co first:
- 43.3 Million households in the United States have at least one pet.
- 84% of dog owners who take their dog in the car don’t have their dog properly restrained; only 16% properly restrain their dog.
- 60% of dog owners have been distracted while driving due to their pets
- If a car crashes at 25mph their unrestrained dog can be projected forward at a force that is equal to 40 times their body weight. So, a dog that is 75lbs can reach impact at a force of 3,000 pounds… this could be fatal.
So what can you do to keep your furry pal safe?
Passenger seat, yay or nay?
A lot of websites recommend against traveling with your pup in the passenger seat due to the risk of injury resulting from an airbag but if you DO travel with your pup in the passenger seat make sure they’re properly restrained.
Why & how should my dog be restrained?
If your dog is in the front or back seat they should be restrained; this will keep them from wandering, jumping out of windows, jumping out of the car when the door is opened, and will reduce the risk of the driver being distracted. It will also keep your pooch safer if an accident should happen. There are a variety of restraint types by weight/car that can be found on websites like Chewy. The AKC website recommends crash-tested safety harness seat belts that clip right into your car’s buckle. These will keep your pup’s neck safe & prevent them from flying off the seat in the event of an accident.
If you prefer to not have your pup on your seats then another option is to get a crate. There are dog crates made specifically for cars; they are crash-tested and are usually made from a durable material like aluminum and have some padding for impact protection. A crate for the car needs to have enough room for the dog to be able to move around & lay comfortably. It also needs to have good ventilation.
What else can I do?
Scared dogs often run away from whatever is scaring them; so dogs often flee car accidents if they are not restrained properly & if paramedics/help don’t know there is a dog in the car. So what can you do to keep your dog safe in the event of an accident?
– Get your dog an ID tag with their name & your info. You can find some here and here.
– Keep an ID card in your car. This one has a detailed card to keep in your glovebox, wallet, or center console & a smaller one to keep with/near the dog.
– You know those “Baby on Board!” stickers parents have on their cars? Get one for your dog! These are made with durable magnets/material to withstand changing weather conditions & stay on the car.
– Don’t open the windows too far & lock the windows so your pooch can’t jump out or open them further (Milton has done this).
– Train your dog early on to be comfortable in the car.
Happy and Safe Travels with your Furry Friend!
You can find Milton & Hershey on their Instagram account.
*The dog mentioned in the story was found a few days later & was returned home safely.
*Some links shared are affiliate links.