Pet News

Buckle Up, Buster!

Rachel Phelps
Written by Rachel Phelps
My pals at the Uncommon Dog sent me this great article about bout the importance of even us dogs wearing seatbelts in the car.  My mom admits sometimes she doesn’t always buckle us up especially when we travel and we have a rental car but she promises me she will get better.  I told her I would remind her!

Traveling with your dog can be a great adventure, but don’t forget to do so wisely. Keeping yourself, your passengers, including your precious pooch, safe should be a top priority. Of course, you know that wearing a seat belt yourself is one way to do just that. But what about restraining your dog as well? The question of dogs and seat belts is a hot topic for state law makers and dog-owners alike.

You’ll likely find that dog-owners are divided on the subject. Some want to let their dog sit on their lap while driving, while others feel strongly about taking measures to restrain their dogs in a moving vehicle. If you’re not sure where you stand, check out these statistics:
  • 20% of participants in a 2010 AAA survey admitted to letting their dog sit on their lap while driving.
  • 31% of participants in the same survey revealed they were distracted by their dog while driving.
  • Eight states now require owners to kennel or tether animals because of the severe danger sudden stops and potential collisions can cause. These include CA, CT, NH, NV, MA, OR, RI, and WI.
That’s right, individual states can mandate that drivers restrain their dogs while traveling. If you consider that 15 people are killed and 1,200 injured each day due to a distracted driver, the requirements might not seem so harsh. If your canine is caught roaming free in your vehicle in a state with a dog “seat belt” requirement, you may be fined anywhere from $50-$200. In some cases, you can even be charged with animal cruelty.

Keep in mind the safety of your dog as well. As tempting as it is to let him rest his head on your lap while driving, it may not be in his best interest. Thankfully, there are many options for portable crates and tether systems so your dog can still enjoy the ride while secured. Check out this site for a few of these options. And don’t cancel that road-trip with your dog; just think about treating him as the precious cargo he is.

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About the author

Rachel Phelps

Rachel Phelps

Rachel Phelps, “America’s Pet Parent,” is an award-winning writer, photographer, and certified dog trainer. She keeps busy managing the career of her Internet celebrity dog Preston from Preston Speaks. Her three Westies — who think they are mini-humans — and three cats rule the house. To learn more about Rachel go to: Rachel Phelps Website


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