Did you know that the safest place for your dog to enjoy a ride with you is in a sturdy plastic crate? In a collision, the hard sides will help protect your dog, even if the crate itself rolls. Dogs have been known to survive a car crash only to escape from a damaged car and be hit on the road by another car.
Dogs should never ride in the front seat of a car with airbags. Even an impact at low speed can inflate the airbag, which can injure or even kill your canine friend. I recently heard of a beloved family dog who was mortally injured in just such an accident.
If you don’t have a crate or have a dog who will not ride in one, you can buy a safety harness that fastens to the car’s seatbelt. While not providing as much protection as a crate, it is a pretty good alternative and will keep the dog in place in a crash.
Besides protecting your dog in case of an accident, confining your dog to the backseat can help prevent one, too. A dog trying to sit on your lap while you are behind the wheel or burrowing down around your feet is a hazard and it is hard to correct inappropriate behavior while you are traveling on the freeway at 60 m.p.h.
Taking a car ride with your dog can be a lot of fun. Make it a safe time, too.