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Is Your Pet Safe in the Car?

Do you know how to keep your pet safe in the car? One driver had a harsh realization after being in an accident. He was alone when the accident happened but what if his dogs had been in the car with him? Would they have suffered the same injuries as their owner or even worse?

Out of habit (at least it should be) we all buckle when we get in a vehicle and if you have kids, you make sure they are buckled as well. But, do you make sure your pets are safe if they tag along on the car ride? You might want to rethink how you transport your pet, There are virtually no state or federal laws regarding how to carry pets in vehicles, and no safety standards at all for the products most often used to carry them, so naturally there were no crash standards for pet-carrying products.”

Jerry Smith recently wrote an article on his experience when he was in that car accident and did some research of his own. “In 2012 or so New Jersey started the process to legislate the use of harness devices or restraint products for pets, and it was a ticketable offense there. We reached out to The Today Show and went from zero media right to TV. That’s how Subaru found us.”

In an effort to test these device to see how protective they would be in the event of a car crash, they turned to crash testing. Using the same guidelines as a small child adjusting for a dog they put it to the test. The experiment tested three products: Harnesses, carriers and crates. The testing was limited to products that made claims of crash testing or crash protection which turned out to be very few, “Regardless of your financial situation, we recommend pet owners take a good look at crash-protection products. This is an investment, and hopefully you’ll only ever have to buy it once.”

Here are some quick ways to keep your pet safe during transport:

Don’t let dogs roam in the car

The safest way for your dog to travel in the car is in a crate that has been anchored to the vehicle using a seatbelt or other secure means. Dog restraints or seat belts are useful for preventing your dog from roaming around the car and being a distraction to the driver, but they haven’t been reliably shown to protect dogs during a crash.

Cats belong in carriers

Most cats aren’t comfortable traveling in cars, so for their safety as well as yours, keep them in a carrier. It’s important to restrain these carriers in the car so that they don’t bounce around and hurt your cat. Do this by securing a seat belt around the front of the carrier.

Leave the front seat for humans

Keep your pet in the back seat of the car. If an airbag deploys while your pet is in the passenger seat (even in a crate), it might injure your pet.

Keep their heads inside

Dogs and cats should always be kept safely inside the car. Pets who are allowed to stick their heads out the window can be injured by particles of debris or made sick by having cold air forced into their lungs. Never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck.

Give your pet plenty of rest stops

Stop frequently to allow your pet to exercise and eliminate. But never let your pet leave the car without a collar, ID tag and leash.

Bring along a buddy

Whenever possible, share the driving and pet caretaking duties with a friend or family member. You’ll be able to get food or use the facilities at rest stops knowing that someone you trust is keeping a close eye on your pets.

Don’t leave your pet alone in a car

A quick pit stop may feel like no time at all to you, but it’s too long to leave your pet in a car by themself. Heat is a serious hazard: when it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees within an hour. On an 85-degree day, even with the windows slightly open, the temperature inside your car can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes.


Read the full story here and tell us how you keep your pets safe in the car.


Tips courtesy of The Humane Society of the United States


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