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I’m No Crash Test Dummy Dog, And Neither is My Ventura Dog Trainer Mom

July 18, 2009

Back in the day my own mom, who is a certified professional dog trainer, got to ride in her parents laps while driving, helping steer the car and giggling. But fortunately thanks to statistics, our culture (and laws) have changed – kids are no longer allowed to do this. Seemed that this activity proved to be detrimental to everyone. Duh.

I remember when we were driving home from the shelter where I used to live, mom made the comment to dad that they were going to have to find some sort of seat-belt or car seat for me. Neither of them wanted me flying out of the car, becoming some sort of projectile and getting hurt, or injuring someone else. Plus, I guess running amok in a car can be annoying…at least to the human passengers.

As mom says: “If it’s not safe for a human child, how could it be safe for our pets?” I think this is what she’s talking about. Check out this great dog car safety video that mom and I found on YouTube.

I’m fortunate enough to have a car seat with harness and seat-belt in both mom and dads car’s, along with a separate seat-belt for traveling. This way, no matter whose car I’m in, I can be kept safe.

We know that many people place their dogs in crates when driving. Our only concern with that is that pets aren’t attached to anything, so if there’s any impact the animal will slam into the inside of the crate. This can cause problems too, but at least the animal is confined to one area. A few tips for crates are:

  • Make sure your dog is trained to ride comfortably in his or her crate.
  • Make sure the crate is secured in a safe area (to prevent it from sliding around)  that provides enough space between walls/doors of cars in case of impact.
  • Make sure the crate is large enough for the animal to stand up and move around.
  • Make sure there is padding that has a rubber back so it doesn’t slide around inside the crate.

Most seat-belts are $25.00 or less whereas a vet visit is at least twice that much. I’m no Einstein, Pavlov or Skinner but the better choice doesn’t seem to be too difficult. My question to all responsible pet guardians is this: With all of the laws you humans have written over the years, why is it still okay to allow pets to ride loose in the car? Hmm, something for this safe and inquisitive canine to ponder.


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