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Vehicle safety is important for you, but it’s also important for your furry friends. How can you be sure you’re providing the right puppy car safety?
Each dog owner has their own set of rules when training their puppy, but puppy car safety is often overlooked. It’s up to you as an owner to make the best choices for your pup when travelling, so let’s go over some important statistics you may not have known first. According to Pet Pro Supply Co:
- Over 80% of dog owners drive with their pets in their cars
- If a car crashes at 25 mph, an unrestrained dog creates a force that could be fatal to both owner and pet
- A 10-lb dog will exert 300 lbs of pressure during a car accident when travelling 30 mph
- 95% of single-vehicle roll over accidents are caused unexpectedly by “tripping” (rolling over due to the wheels hitting the curb at high velocity)
- 84% of dog owners do not travel with their dog restrained
- 60% of dog owners admit to being distracted by their pet while driving
- 17% of dog owners allow their dog to sit on their lap while driving
With all these statistics, what can be done to provide adequate puppy car safety?
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the safest way for your dog to travel is in an approved crate. There are even crates available that provide impact protection inside and outside. Your crate should be placed on the floor behind the passenger seat, or in the hatch area, not on the seats.
The AKC also claims that crates can alleviate car sickness for some dogs. If your puppy is car sick, read our article “Combating Car Sickness in Puppies” for more in-depth information.
Dog-Specific Seat Belts
If you don’t have room for a crate in your vehicle, the next best choice is a dog seat belt. Seat belts are inexpensive, easy to use, and provide a safe option that can save your dog’s life. When considering a seat belt, you can easily find a no-pull harness that doubles as a restraint. Companies that make these usually offer a replacement if you’re ever in an accident, so check all of the information carefully before spending your money.
Puppy car safety does not only involve where they are seated and how. There are a few general rules you should follow to provide a safe space for your pup:
- Never leave automatic windows unlocked.
If your dog can reach the window button, you better bet they can accidentally open that window, providing a place to escape.
- Do not allow your pet on your lap.
Your dog could very easily distract you when they are seated on your lap, or get in the way of turning the car safely, which may cause a major accident. Fortunately, some cities give tickets for this type of behaviour.
- Be aware when opening doors.
When you don’t use a seat belt for your puppy, they may attempt to bolt out of the vehicle. Be careful when opening the doors, as they can be fast!
- Never ever leave your dog in the car in warm weather!
During the summer, your dog can overheat and die in less than 10 minutes. If you can’t bring your puppy in where you visit, leave them home.
Now get out there and find your puppy a seat belt to begin your travels with puppy car safety! For tips to help accustom your puppy to travelling, see our page on “Developing a Great Relationship Between Your Puppy and Cars.”