Would you let your child sit in your lap while you drive? Of course not and there are child car seat laws to make sure that we don’t. But, believe it or not, according to AAA, 1 in 5 drivers allow their dogs to sit in their lap. ‘Tis the season to visit friends and family… and let’s face it, many of us bring our dog(s) when we go on a road trip!
Last year, only 10 percent of pets traveling in cars were properly secured. Even though there are no laws yet, dogs need to be strapped in and safe just as people do. There are a few options to check out for keeping our furry family members safe.
1. The most popular is the harness style restraint. There are many styles available and they all do the same thing. You put the harness on your dog and slide the car’s seatbelt through a strap in back. The belt buckles just like it would for a person and the dog has freedom of movement but is strapped in if an accident occurs.
2. The second type is a barrier that keeps pets confined to the cargo area. Although the barrier doesn’t secure the pet, it does keep him in one area of the car. However, if the car is involved in an accident, your pet can go flying.
3. A third option is for smaller dogs, usually up to 30lbs. The dog sits in a basket and can be secured in it while the basket is strapped to the car seat. The height of the basket can be adjusted so your pup can enjoy the view.
Whichever type you choose, be sure to consider your dog’s size and comfort. It will be a much smoother ride knowing everyone in the vehicle is safe.
Tomorrow I’ll give you another Fido friendly safety tip for the car.