Monday, November 15, 2010

Buckling Up Your Dog

Now that the weather has cooled off, Ceddie will be going for more rides in the car, one of his favorite things to do. Just the mention of it sends him into dizzying, excited circles with whines and tail wagging, as he searches for his leash to carry with him. He loves to ride with the windows down, smelling all the smells he can on overdrive! I don't take him many places in the summer unless it's dog specific, because the car can get dangerously hot, but in the fall he usually comes with us on small errand runs, and usually to the pet store for a treat. I want to mention a safety issue when driving with your dog in the car. Seat belts are really an important safety concern with dogs. It makes me sick when I see people driving pick up trucks with dogs in the back. I once witness a panicked German Shepard jump from a truck bed to the roof of the cab at a stop light. It was sliding all over the slippery painted metal roof. Finally the family got the dog down and squeezed it into the back of the cab behind the seat. It was horrible! Or people with little dogs trying to maneuver a steering wheel with Poopsie in their lap. This is extremely dangerous, not only for you and your dog, but for the other drivers that you're sharing the road with. Even if you don't get into a car crash, dogs don't anticipate sudden stops or swerves. They can loose their balance and hurt themselves. In the event (God forbid) that you would get into a wreck, a seat belt would protect your dog, just as it does you. And if you don't do it for your dog, do it for the people in the front seat. Ceddie, our Golden Retriever weighs 92 lbs. If we were in a wreck the shear weight of him could do some serious damage to the passengers in the front. Seat belts are easy to use and keep your dog, your passengers and your car safe. If you do make a short stop and the dog waits for you in the car, it also keeps him from jumping all over your seats, center console, or packages.
Ours is a heavy canvas harness that is padded it slips over his head and has two heavy clips that buckle right above his shoulders. The car seat belt slips through the belt in the back, the way a car seat might. It also doubles as a walking harness.

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