Many dogs are very content to sit up like a person and enjoy the ride, although many canines prefer to hang their head out the window and feel the breeze. Distracted driving situations can happen quickly with an animal in the car, so it is important to consider alternatives to just letting the dog sit free in the vehicle.
1) Use Pet Carriers
Pet carriers may be the best alternative to free-riding for a dog, especially if the animal is small. Small cages can be placed where the puppy can see out and enjoy the experience. Small dogs can get excited easily and may have trouble adjusting in some cases, but using a carrier is the safest method of reducing distracted driving opportunities.
2) Use Seat Belts
Strapping a dog in a seat belt may be a good alternative for the animal who will remain in place, but a standard seat belt can be inefficient for dogs wanting to escape. However, training your pet to sit still is possible in many cases.
One of the best ways is to practice hauling them in an open driving area at a slow rate of speed first and monitor your dog for adjustment. This should help them focus on enjoying the ride before being subjected to congested traffic travel.
3) Use Restraint Leashes For Your Canine Companion
Dogs that are used to being on a leash usually do well when they are strapped down in the vehicle. It is important to make sure the restraint is short enough to keep the animal from interfering with the driver. This may work best when other passengers are in the car to help handle the dog, which is a good idea anyway.
4) Partition the Dog
Pickup trucks can be a good option for traveling with your canine companion, especially when there is a sliding window between the cab and the back.
Camper tops can make an excellent general restraint device when the animal prefers being loose while riding. Restraining the dog in a compartment may be the safest practice for the dog, regardless of its disposition. This can also be accomplished in a van or SUV with an adequate divider.
5) Do Not Lap Ride
Many small dogs are scared in a vehicle, but still enjoy the ride. These attached animals often want to ride in the owner's lap, including when the owner is in the process of driving.
Distracted driving has recently been receiving much attention, but most of the concern is directed at using the hands for other activities while driving. A dog sitting in the driver's lap can be a very dangerous situation for all involved. Avoid this practice, especially in high speed situations.
Leaving a dog unrestrained in a vehicle can be problematic for both the owner and the pet. In a recent accident in New York, CBS news reported that a family wrecked their vehicle and the investigating officers did not realize they had an animal ejected from the SUV.
After the accident was cleared, their rottweiler was found alive and laying well away from the accident site. Though it was a one-car accident, it was still unclear if the dog was part of the series of events which led to the wreck. Predictability of the dog can be troublesome, but there are still ways to enjoy riding with your canine friend.
Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and former dog owner. She contributes this article as a way to highlight the importance of safety while driving with your dog. During her research she was able to ascertain helpful information from the legal website http://www.personalinjurylawyersny.net/. Whether a car accident was caused by your energetic dog or texting, it is important to seek legal counsel to resolve the case accordingly.