Car Safety for Your Pets
We received a tragic story from James Wambold, a fellow community member whose dog, Rudy, recently passed away in a car accident. At the time the accident occurred, Rudy was not secured in the car. Both James and Rudy were taken to be given medical care. Unfortunately, Rudy did not survive. Since then, James has been heartbroken and wanted us to emphasize the importance of safely securing your pets when driving. He doesn’t wish for anyone to lose their beloved pet.
An unsecured pet becomes a projectile during an accident or a sudden stop. Even if you are just driving a short distance with your pet, have them secured as you never know what might happen. Below are some tips and advice we have gathered on different ways you can secure your pet. When your pet is in the car, it’s good caution to have your pet secured in one form or another. Should you have an accident, or even if you just happen to brake suddenly, your pet will be secured.
1. Use a crate or a carrier.
If you have a smaller dog or a cat, secure your pet using a crate or carrier and make sure to strap it down securely so it doesn’t shift or move. If you know you will be driving for long periods of time, consider getting a crate/carrier of a slightly larger size so your pet can have space to move around and stretch if they need to.
2. Buckle your pet.
If your pet is too big for a crate/carrier or if you feel like you’re just going to go on a quick drive, a good option would be to have your pet harnessed and then leashed with a dog seatbelt. We recommend having the seat belt attached to a harness rather than a collar as that’ll help prevent unintentional choking.
3. Don’t allow your pet to dangle out the windows.
Although your dog (or cat!) may enjoy feeling the breeze on their face, recognize the dangers they could face if they’re sticking their heads out the window. You never know when something might fly into their faces, or they could get too excited and jump out. Your pet is most secured when they are inside while you’re driving.
4. Don’t let your pet be unleashed in the car.
Whether you use a crate or have your pet buckled, it’s important to secure your dog in some way when you are driving. This is for your safety and your pet’s safety. A loose pet in your car becomes a projectile during a sudden stop or a crash!
For your safety and your pet’s safety, it’s vital that you safely secure your pet when driving. For more resources and information on what harnesses or crates that are safest for driving, you can look to additional resources such as Center for Pet Safety, a non-profit safety science organization dedicated to consumer and companion animal safety.
To read more about car safety for pets, feel free to click the links below:
Consumer Reports – How to Keep Your Pets Safe in a Car
The Bark – 7 Ways to Secure Your Dog in the Car