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Jul 29

Riding in Cars with Dogs: Doggie Seat Belts?

I thought car restraint systems for dogs were silly and only used by people fanatical about their dogs until one day when I was driving with my Miniature Pinscher, Zeus. Because I was driving by myself that day, he was in his carrier instead of his usual place in the passenger seat on my lap. Then, the unexpected happened: we were in an accident, and my car rolled 2 1/2 times. Since Zeus was in his carrier, all he suffered was a bad fright. However, when I was walking through the wreckage, I saw a water bottle that had been thrown out of my car during the accident and then squished by the car as it rolled. My stomach turned over, and I thought: “That could have been Zeus.”

Since then, I have always transported my dogs in carriers. Sometimes, I use the regular hard-sided plastic type, and sometimes I use a soft-sided one that straps into the seat belt system, but they are always restrained.

I know that dogs love to ride with their heads out the window, sniff air vents, and have freedom in the car, but I believe that the protection of a carrier is more important, and it is especially important with small dogs, like Min Pins, and puppies. Small dogs and puppies who are loose in the cabin of a vehicle can get under the brake pedal and make it impossible to brake.

Do you have a car restraint system for your dog? Why or why not?

Visit the Pet Store Directory to find stores that carry dog car restraint systems and carriers.

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