Out For a Ride

There are not many things more joyful than a dog out for a ride with his owner, head hanging out of the window, the wind blowing his ears back, tongue hanging out happily.  And while we all enjoy making our dogs happy, just as we do with children, we need to make sure that we take their safety into consideration.

It is a sad truth that what our dogs enjoy doing isn’t always safe for them. Over the years we have had the following cases in:

  • Dogs that were riding in the back of a pick-up truck who jumped out while the truck was moving. Injuries can range from broken bones to “road rash” to sadly, even death.


  • A dog that was riding in the front seat with his owners, both front windows were down.  The owner was stopped at a light when the dog saw another dog being walked on the sidewalk.  Wanting to see the other dog, this dog jumped out of the window. He was not injured by the jump, but was hit by a car going the opposite direction on the street. Sadly the dog died from his injuries.


  • There have been several cases in which a car has been in an accident, and while the dog riding in the car was not known to be injured in the initial accident, in all the confusion of rescue personnel and police, the dogs panicked and ran away.

A dog sitting in your lap while you’re driving is also a safety hazard and a distraction.  If you were to be involved in an accident, the dog would almost certainly be seriously injured or possibly even killed by being in-between the impact of your body with the steering wheel or air bag.

The safest place for any pet riding in a vehicle is in a carrier. This will prevent him from being a distraction for you while you are driving.  It will also keep him from being thrown around if there is an accident or from escaping the car and becoming lost or injured by other vehicles. An alternative to a carrier for dogs are several different types of harnesses that you can run a seat belt through to secure them. And of course, if it is a warmer day, your dog will be better off at home. Even if you’re only running into the store “for a minute,” a dog left in a car can quickly overheat, even in what seems like relatively mild temperatures.

We know you love your dog and many dogs love to go ‘bye bye’ with their owners, just be sure to ensure their safety on your outings so that everyone arrives back home safe and sound.

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