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Keeping Your Dog Safe on Car Trips

Category Travel
Making sure your pets are cool, safe and secure is essential when they accompany you in the car. This guide is about keeping your dog safe on car trips.
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April 21, 2010

There are so many times during hot weather when I see dogs left alone in cars while their owners go shopping. This is very upsetting to me. I don't understand the need for people to take their dogs with them while they shop.

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The interior of a car gets very hot, this can cause major health problems and even death to a dog. So please, do not leave your dog in a car for any amount of time. It still gets hot even with the windows open. I have a family member who did this, and their dog had seizures which eventually led to the dog's death.

I place the following warning under the windshield wipers of the cars/trucks when I see a dog left inside of a car. I keep copies in my car. I can only hope this will educate the owner so it won't happen again.

We understand you meant to be kind by taking your dog with you today, but you can be risking your pet's' life.

On a hot day, the inside of a car heats up very quickly. On an average 85-degree F day, for example, the temperature inside your car - with the window partially opened, will reach 102 degrees F in 10 minutes. In 30 minutes, it will go up to 120 degrees F. On hotter days, it will go higher.

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A dogs' normal body temperature is 101.5 to 102.2 degrees F. A dog can only withstand hot temperatures for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage or even death. The closed car interferes with your dog's normal cooling process, that is, evaporation through panting.

If your dog is overcome by heat exhaustion, you should give immediate first aid by immersing him/her in cold water until the body temperature is lowered.

Leaving a dog unattended in a car during hot weather is deemed cruel. In some states, cruelty to animals is a violation of the law.

Please, if you love and care about your dog, do not leave him/her in the car for any period of time when the weather is hot.

By mkymlp from NE PA / USA

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By 0 found this helpful
January 21, 2011

My dog loves to ride in the car, but keeps jumping between the front and the back seat. This is dangerous for both of us. How can I keep her from doing this? My car is too small for a crate large enough for her to fit in.

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By dupperdog from WI

Answers

January 21, 20110 found this helpful

There's a strap that attaches to the dog's collar and the other end allows it to be strung through the seat belt and fastened. This gives doggie room to move along the back seat without coming to the front. You can buy this item on jefferspet.com or check with the local pet store.

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January 21, 20110 found this helpful

There is alos a net that goes between bucket seats to keep a pet in the back seat.

I have also seen items that help you use the back seat safety belt to strap in the pet. Look around. Try Petsmart.com for starters. When you find the type of thing you would like to try do a search for it specifically on the net to find the best buy. And don't forget Craigslist and Ebay during your search.

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January 21, 20110 found this helpful

Also, not sure how you could do it completely but you can get a net and attach it to your hanging hooks at the top; the bottom ones are what I can't think of just yet. But they sell cargo nets at auto store fairly cheap or you may do with a tail gate net. Be creative.

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January 21, 20110 found this helpful

If it's a small dog, there are great car-seats that allow the dog to look out the windows. If it's a big dog, take a look at PetEdge,com. The item is called Guardian Gear Classic Car Seat Covers for Dogs, #ZW096. I have used one of these for years for my two dogs, a Shih-tzu and a Belgian shepherd, and it's great. It bungees to the front and back head-rests. There are little caps that cover/protect the headrests. In a sudden stop, the high side of the "hommock" toward the front seat would stop the dog from flying forward. There's still plenty of storage room on the floor under the hammock. Easy to remove for cleaning. The $29 price tag is, in my opinion, worth it. --shoe

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January 21, 20110 found this helpful

Our dogs work as volunteers for Search and Rescue. They wear a harness so when we travel we hook that up to a leash and attach that to the back seat belt. The leash is secured to a length that gives them room to lay down but not hop up front. They love to go for a ride! I hope that helps! Suz

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January 22, 20110 found this helpful

Ditto to the harness ideas. They are the best solution short of a crate for your dog's safety. As well, you can buy or make a safety net to install between the front and back seat to keep the dog from jumping back and forth (as others have mentioned). I can't for the life of me remember where I saw these advertised, (but it was a pet care supply site) and properly installed, allow your pet fee range of the back seat, and a view without allowing him/her to jump into the front seat and disrupt your driving. Safe travels and happy trails! :-)

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January 22, 20110 found this helpful

I don't know how safe it is but this is what my daughter does: Attached to the dogs collar is his long leash; she closes the back door on the end of the leash. It keeps him in the back seat.

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