You would never consider allowing your child to travel unrestrained in your car, right? Well, it's a fact that the vast majority of people allow their pets to roam freely in their cars, with absolutely no dog car harness. Even at low speeds this makes your pooch a dangerous projectile, not only risking his life, but the lives of the passengers in the car as well.
Some people put their dogs in crates, but forget a very important safety MUST: tethering down the crate is essential. Having your dog in an unsecured crate will do very little to protect your poor dog if the kennel isn't itself anchored down. Crash test studies have also shown dog can get injured in kennels, even when they are properly tethered. The impact of a large animal inside the crate can actually injure the dog, plus the crate can literally explode in the impact.
Still others decide to use car barriers thinking it will keep their dogs safe. Now, using a dog car harness is better than using nothing at all, but certainly does not qualify as an appropriate restraint. Even if he or she is confined to the cargo area or the back seat, he or she is still vulnerable to becoming a dangerous missile upon impact.
Perhaps you've seen those cute little, plush dog seats so Fluffy can get a better view out of the window? Well, let me say aside from making your dog more comfortable on long road trips, you aren't doing him or her any favors in the way of safety here, these simply are not appropriate dog car restraints!
So, what ARE appropriate dog car restraints, you ask? If you want to increase the odds your dog will survive an automobile accident, you need to secure him in a dog car harness, each and every time you hit the road! Bear in mind, not all dog car harnesses are made alike. Some have undergone extensive research and safety testing and even exceed the standards for human seat belts.
Certain qualities and features make some dog car harnesses superior to others. If you don't do your research and purchase any old dog car seat belt, you may actually be putting your dog at risk for injuries, rather than saving his or her life. There are a few seat belts for dogs that pass the acid test of safety, but quite a few that certainly do not.
I hope you will join other responsible dog owners in properly restraining your dogs in vehicles. I believe we have that obligation, not only to the dogs themselves, but for the human passengers in the car, as well as to the other cars on the road who are at risk when we have a dog distracting us while we drive.