The other day I was driving down our local boulevard at rush hour and I spotted a driver who had a Cocker Spaniel sitting on his lap and looking out the window. This was the driver not the passenger. I remember many years ago talking to a client in the vet office where I worked who had two small poodles. He said that his dogs used to ride unrestrained until someone he loved approached him and said would you let your children ride unrestrained in the car? At first he said he was horrified at this statement and then once he thought about it, made perfect sense. He told me he loved his dogs and he always gives them the best of everything from grooming, to vet care, to food and he was letting them down. So from then on his dogs always rode in the backseat, in carriers, buckled in.
Unrestrained dogs are a distraction while driving and can be even more of a distraction then cell phones. Unrestrained pets cause more than 30,000 accidents per year according to Paws to Click. Unrestrained dogs are not only a distraction but become projectiles if you have to stop suddenly. This means your dog can not only fly through the windshield but could also fly into a passenger in the front of your car causing injury or death. I know dogs love hanging their heads out the window, (I saw a horse hanging its head out a window the other day on the freeway, but we will save that for another blog). but our kids would love to ride on the top of the car or be a hood ornament. But we vow to keep them safe and don’t let them. Please also keep your dogs safe by investing in a dog seatbelt. Contact your local pet store today and lets reduce the number of pet related car accidents per year.