Car Safety For Pets



People always think of buckling up when they and their family get in a car.  Car safety for pets involves the same rationale.  You need to protect your loved ones and your furry friends!  Over the years I have treated many pets that were injured in car accidents; even if the owners weren’t.  I had a Dachshund that was sitting in the back seat of a car and the owner was involved in an accident.  The dog flew into the front car window and hurt its back and had an auricular hematoma; a condition where blood fills the space between the cartilage and skin of the ear.  The dog survived but the point is is that the dog may not have been injured if it was properly secured to the rear seat.


Letting pets run loose in the cabin of the vehicle is dangerous.  Dogs and cats can become a major distraction.  This can lead to the owner taking his or her eyes off of the road.  This is even worse when cats are allowed to run loose.  Cats hate and I mean hate car rides!  They will howl and jump all over the place.  They will even jump on YOU when they are nervous.  This is another distraction.


When it comes to car safety for pets there is one thing I have seen countless amounts of times are pets sitting in the lap of the owner while he or she is driving.  In a few states this is against the law. The pet might like it but this is dangerous when you might have to make a sudden stop or a quick turn to avoid oncoming traffic.  The animal will literally be in the way of safely being able to operate a moving vehicle.  Do not do this!


What is probably one of the worst things to do is allow a dog to run around in the bed of a pickup.  Whether tethered to a leash or not does not make any difference.  I have treated dogs for dislocated hips and head injuries that jumped out of a pickup bed.  The worst injury I treated, in my career, was a leashed Labrador Retriever that jumped out the back of the pickup and its paws were dragging on the asphalt for miles.  It required multiple surgeries to get the animal back to normal.




The simplest ways to provide car safety for pets are things that you may have available at home.  If you travel in a pickup put the animal in a crate and fix it to the bed of the truck with bungee cords or facsimiles.  Dog crates are made for this purpose for transporting hunting dogs and the like.


A Cocker Spaniel puppy is sitting at the entrance of a red and blue safety car carrier with a zippered front.

Dog or Cat Car Carrier

If you have a small dog or cat put it into a cat carrier that can than be attached to a safety belt mechanism by running the cord through the provided loops.  People that own big dogs usually own SUV vehicles.  Purchase a metal cross bar brace that is cushioned on one side and attach it to the car keeping the dogs in the back.  Car safety for pets does not have to be complex.  In a pinch, if no carrier is available for a cat, put the animal in a pillow case and tie the top shut.  Put the cat on a floorboard of the vehicle.  Yes, cats can breathe just fine through this and actually feel more secure.


There are a myriad of safety harnesses and physical blocks that prevent the pet from entering the front seat area.  PetAutoSafety has a plethora of products available to keep your dog or cat safe.  Safety for both owners and their pets is the bottom line!  Before you hit the road it is time to learn about vacationing with pets!

Car safety for pets is something to think about way before you take your pet on a car ride.
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