20 June, 2012

I’m sure that every dog owner has been in the situation, when driving with your dog in the back seat, that your dog’s paw, tail or toy suddenly distracts or interrupts you.    While it is sometimes merely a distraction, it could potentially cause unnecessary harm to you, your dog and/or another driver.   Statistics say it only takes looking away for three seconds for something unexpected to happen while driving.

Just as we wouldn’t let our kids ride in the car without a seat belt, our pets shouldn’t roam freely in the car. There are some dogs that are great in the car, lie down or look out the window and don’t get in the way.  Other dogs aren’t so great… they like to sit on their owner’s laps and/or trample around the car jumping from the back to the front of the car.   These dogs can cause an accident.

It really is better to be on the safe side and buy a ‘doggy seatbelt’ or restraint for your dog.   There are numerous types of restraints available at your local pet store or on line.  Some are harnesses that you can use with a seatbelt, others look like pet beds, and others are travel crates.  These ‘doggy seat belts’ keep your pets’ safe and allow you to be more focused on your driving.

It’s safe and comfie!

A few states have passed laws that require animal restraints in moving cars. Some of the laws only pertain to animals riding in the exterior such as the bed of a pickup truck or trailer. However, more and more states are realizing that safe driving also means making sure the interior of the car is safe and that our pets are not distracting us.

In fact, in New Jersey, a driver can be stopped by an officer if improperly transporting an animal and receive a ticket. It’s important to make sure your pet is in a seat, not distracting you or other drivers and not blocking your view. Hawaii, Arizona, Connecticut and Maine do not allow pets to ride on their owners laps while driving.   A driver can be pulled over, ticketed and fined.

If you are taking a road trip, it really is important to invest in a ‘doggy seat belt’ or restraint… the longer the drive, the higher the odds of a distraction or accident on the road.

As always with our beloved dogs, it is better to be safe than sorry and invest in a ‘doggy seat belt”.  They will get used to it and you don’t have to worry about their whereabouts or become distracted.  Give it a try and you and your dog will be happier ‘on the road’.

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