Why your dog needs a car seat
There’s nothing more American than the classic summertime road trip. Load up the kids and the family dog, crank up the tunes, break out the snacks and then hit the open road.
However, for dogs, long rides in the car can wear them out and make them restless. This leads to unsafe behavior like jumping into the driver’s lap or hanging out of the window.
Making sure that everyone in the car is wearing a seat belt is one of the first lessons you will be taught in driving school. Similarly, you should also make sure your pets are safe and secure as well. Every time they go on a ride with you, a dog car seat can ensure that they stay safe.
Here are 4 major reasons why you should strap your pets into a car seat before you even take the wheel:
Letting your pets roam free in the backseat of your car can lead to dangerous consequences in the event of a car crash. According to Melanie Monteiro, a dog safety coach and author of “The Safe Dog Handbook: A Complete Guide to Protecting Your Pooch Indoors & Out”, during a 50-mph car crash, a 10-pound unrestrained dog can actually generate 500 pounds of projectile force, while an 80-pound dog can generate 2,400 pounds of projectile force during a 30-mph crash. Securing them in their own car seat can lower their chances of movement should the car face any accident.
According to the American Automobile Association, more than 43 million households in the US have pets, and more than 80% of owners travel on the road without properly restraining their fur babies first.
To ensure everyone’s safety on the road, more states are taking precautions. Places, such as Connecticut and Hawaii, have now signed laws against driving with dogs on your lap, while New Jersey and Rhode Island now require owners to safely secure their pets in cars with various restraints.
Based on a study co-sponsored by AAA and Kurgo, over 65% of dog owners engage in distracted driving behavior because their pets are untethered and roaming freely in their cars while mobile. This causes the driver to take their eyes off the road, which can lead to accidents and injuries, of which some might be even fatal.
By restraining your pets in their own car seats, you will be assured that they are safe and secure and will lessen your chances of taking your eyes off the road.
Tether and collar injuries
One might think that the way to keep your pets safe in your car is restraining them using their leashes or collars, but this method is proven to be dangerous and can cause more injury than safety to your pets. Using these types of tethers can potentially choke your beloved pooches or injure their limbs in the event of a car crash or even with a sudden stop.
To ensure their safety, it would be best to put them in a car seat where they are properly restrained while sitting comfortably behind or beside you.
How do you choose the best car seat for your dogs?
There are many car seats available on the market today, but in order to choose the best one for your pet, you must keep these general aspects in mind:
Keeping your pet safe and secure during car rides should be one of your main priorities as a pet owner, so make sure that your car seat is equipped with standard belts and harnesses that can really keep your pooches restrained. You should also make sure that the car seat is fit for your type of car so that you will not have to worry about it dislodging when you suddenly stop or are involved in an accident.
Most dogs enjoy a good road trip, but there is still that possibility of motion sickness and general anxiety. If you plan to bring your pets along with you, make sure that they are as comfortable as possible by providing them with a car seat that is equipped with a soft lining and is fit for their size.
When choosing a dog car seat, you must also think about how you will clean it afterwards. Is the material easy to scrub? Can you remove the inner lining and padding with no problems? Does the car seat have other features that might be harder to clean?
You must think about your general travel style and habits. If you like going on long road trips, you should consider going for a sturdier seat that can easily be stored when you’re not using it. However, if you just go for short rides to the dog park or maybe to the vet, you can opt for a more fixed car seat with handcrafted designs that any pooch will enjoy.