In Minnesota, it’s “Click It or Ticket,” so we know to buckle up as soon as we get into the car. We also know that our car has seatbelts and airbags to keep us safe. But how can we keep our pets safe in the car?
First off, never, ever let an animal go loose in your car. For cats, use a carrier that is the right size for your cat. For small animals, use a transportable cage or a small carrier. If you are rescuing an animal such as an injured bird or baby raccoon, use a carrier or cage to transport the animal to an emergency clinic or wildlife rescue rehabilitation center. Many people put a wild animal in a cardboard box, and they just use the four flaps to close the box. The scared, confused animal will try to get out. If that animal gets out, you risk being injured or getting into a car accident.
What about dogs–especially large dogs? They tend to lie down in the backseat or sit in the passenger seat. This means a loose, unsecured animal is in your car. Is this safe? NO! You need to be buckled for a reason. Same goes for your dog. You wouldn’t let your baby just lie down in the backseat, so don’t let your pet!
If you’re not convinced, let’s think about a few scenarios…
• You slam on the brakes.
• You get in a car accident.
• Your pet crashes into the dashboard, the back of the front seats, or even worse: through the windshield.
• Your pet might stick his/her head out the window and get hit.
• A paw could accidentally open the window further and your dog might jump out.
• A paw could accidently close the window while your dog’s head is sticking out.
• Your dog might distract you by sitting in your lap, licking your face, or brushing up against you.
• Your dog might jump down to where the brake and gas pedals are.
Do any of these scenarios end well? Now that we’re on the same page, let’s focus on how you can restrain your dog when going for a car ride:
Go invest in something that will keep your furry family member SAFE! No matter what you choose, make sure it’s the right size and fit for your pet.