Monday, March 29, 2010

Dog Safety Belt Travel Responsibly with Your Dog

Many dogs love to ride in the car and many of us love to take our dogs with us too. Traveling in the car with our pets no matter how small or big can be very dangerous to us and them if they are not restrained. Having a seat belt or crate in the car for your dog is most important even when traveling a short distance.

Not too long ago I was speaking to a police officer friend of mine who related a story about an accident that had recently happened that he responded too. The woman had her little dog riding in her lap when it jumped down and got in between her feet. The woman became distracted and ran a red light hit another car. The impact of the accident threw the little dog from the car into the highway which another car in order to not run over the dog swerved into on coming traffic and into a ditch. The little dog died and several people hurt and taken to the hospital. It could have been worse.

Nothing makes me more mad regarding dogs than when I am driving along and 1.) seeing a dog in the back of a pick up truck untethered. I scream usually to myself at the driver "What are you thinking you incredibly dumb person and irresponsible moron!" I always pray for the dog or dogs and hope for their safety. If your dog is going to ride in the bed of your pick up truck put it safely in a crate that is secured to the bed of the truck. 2) People who leave their animals in the car while they are in the store or bank or whatever. Especially on a hot day. The dog can suffocate in a matter of minutes.

Our four legged family members deserve to be restrained for several reasons:

a. safety for you
b. safety for the dog
c. safety for others on the road
d. we wear seat belts, kids wear seat belts and your dog should too all for safety.

A doggie seat belt or harness is to keep them in the seat and safe from quick unexpected stops which could throw the animal and cause it to break something or die. Not to mention, hurt you in the process.

Pierre has worn a seat belt harness from the moment he started riding in the car. They are available at all pet stores and most general merchandise stores. However, we really like the harness available at Jakes Dog House.
save 15% on any order at Enter code FIRST15 at checkout.
The picture above is the harness from Jakes. You must look under lifestyle and then travel for dogs and you will find it there.

Here are few travel safety tips to keep in mind:

1. Have your pet ride in the backseat not the front

2. Keep your pet safe and secure with a pet seat belt harness or well ventilated crate

3. If you use a crate and your pet is not used to being in one make sure to familiarize your pet in the house first with the crate. Use praise not force to get him/her to feel comfortable in the crate

4. Keep your pets leash with you and attach the leash to the dog and make sure they are secure in your control before letting him out of the safety harness and car

5. No food at least 6 hours before traveling

6. May want to give your dog and anti anxiety or anti nauseous pill before traveling to help make the trip more pleasant for them. Contact your vet for recommendations

7. Make sure the harness fits correctly and comfortably on your dog. Two fingers should slide easily through on each strap and also check often to be sure the harness is not rubbing the fur or skin and causing sores on your dog.

8. If your pet has not traveled by car for long distance and you are planning a road trip with them try shorter trips extending time on each drive in order to get him/her used to the long ride.
9. Be sure the dog's crate is suitable size. The dog should be able to easily lie down, stand, sit and turn around in a proper sized crate.

10. Always bring your dogs medical records in case of an emergency away from home and make sure the dog is current on its shots etc.

One last thing, Pierre and I recommend a site that that supports dogs travel safety, join the cause and spread the word on safety for all pets.

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