As your local Lansdale Dog Walker, I drive around town a lot, and often see dogs with their heads hanging out the window of the car. These pups look so happy – ears blowing in the wind, big smiles on their faces. The dog owner obviously wants his best fur buddy along for the ride. But there are dangers to both the owner and the pet in this situation.
According to the Center for Pet Safety, a dog should be restrained in the backseat. An unrestrained dog can easily distract its owner while driving and can be hurt if you have to suddenly stop. If the car gets into an accident, there is nothing restraining the dog to the backseat and it’s body can fly through the car. Studies show that the best form of restraint may be back seat harnesses. You can ask your local veterinary what he/she recommends. Whatever type of restraint you decide to use, let your dog get use to it slowly. Whether it’s a crate, a booster seat with a seat belt, or a harness, first place it on the floor in your house and let your dog sniff it and sit it in whenever it wants. Later move it into the car and let your dog feel comfortable with it there without going anywhere. Then on your initial drive with your dog, take him somewhere he likes, a park or some other favorite place.
Some dogs get carsick and will vomit or have diarrhea. To prevent this from happening, do not feed your dog for three to four hours before a trip. A veterinary could also provide car-sickness medication.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG ALONE IN THE CAR WITH THE WINDOWS UP! This isn’t safe even in cold weather. In warm weather a car can heat up rapidly and overheat your dog.
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