Is your dog save in the trunk of the truck?

“Look mommy isn’t he cute?!”  My daughter says about the dog that is riding in the open bed of a truck parked next to me.   I think he (or she I can’t tell from here) sure is, but is it really safe for their dog to be riding in the “trunk” of their truck?

What are the dangers to your dog while riding in the back of your pick-up truck?

  • You may be distracted as you are watching your dog in the back and not the road in front.
  • Your dog may jump out of the bed of a moving truck as they see something of interest.
  • Rocks, cigarette butts, debris and even glass can go flying up and hurt your precious pouch.

If these are the dangers, why do people still do it?  Many pet owners say that their dog is too well trained to jump out of the truck, but there is always the chance that they could.

However, the ASPCA disagrees, saying:

 “When you drive with a loose dog in the back of your truck, you’re taking a huge risk and placing your dog and other motorists in danger,” says Chuck Mai, a vice president with AAA Oklahoma. “Even if a dog is trained, we’re talking about an animal who responds to stimuli on impulse. This irresponsible decision can start a deadly chain reaction on the road.”

They give the example of “Nina” a dog in Portland, Oregon who had to be euthanized after severe injuries incurred when jumping out of the bed of her owners best friends truck.

In Knoxville, TN a dog was injured when debris struck him in the eye while riding in the back of a truck.  It caused damage and an infection.  His owner’s answer?  Pet sunglasses.  This $20.00 pair of sunglasses is considered “fashionable as the owner says,

“You see, not only does Apollo look sharp in his fashionable shades, he appears to enjoy the show. I swear the dog actually seems to be smiling. “I think it’s the smile that everybody notices,” Wilkens says. “Apollo really loves the attention.”

How can dog owners responsibly travel with their four legged friends? 

We know that our dogs love to go “bye bye in the car” and that they love to smell anything and everything as part of the adventure.  Some owners may say that they are being mean to not allow their dog to do what they enjoy, but pet ownership should be more like parenting.  You wouldn’t let your child do something that is unsafe no matter how much they enjoy it would you?

Providing the proper restraining in a car is the best way to allow you dog to travel with you.  Unfortunately this doesn’t include a rope tied to their collar.  While it may keep them from jumping out of the car or truck it can actually cause them to be choked or dragged.

Use the proper restraint systems. This doesn’t include letting your Chihuahua ride in your lap while you are driving.  The best ways to keep your pet safe is to use dog kennels, carriers and restraint systems designed much like a child’s seat belt is to keep your child safe.

When buying a restraint system make sure that it is strong and durable.  Restraints made from nylon are softer on your dog’s skin and strong enough to stand up to some serious chewing.  Dog car restraints need to be adjustable. The best way to make sure the restraint harness fits it to take your dog with you and try it on.  Consider purchasing one that has fleece lined padding. Not only can you keep it clean but it is more comfortable for your dog too. Last but not last make sure your choice of restraint is convenient and allows your dog a little mobility without putting him or her into danger.

Though not illegal, in most states California and New Hampshire as well as some cities have banned transporting unrestrained dogs in low bed trucks.

What do you think? Should there be laws about letting your dog ride in the back of a truck?

 

 

Sources

Cars Direct 

Knox News 

 

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