Love your dog? Restrain it when riding in the car!

This week has been a very rainy one in Christchurch.  Since I am a mobile practitioner, I spend a fair amount of time in the car.  When stopped at a traffic light, I snapped this photo with my phone:

Dog in car on rainy day

You can clearly see this little white dog sitting on the ledge at the rear window of the car.  I watched while the dog moved around on the ledge and onto the back seat of the car, then back again.

If this vehicle had to stop suddenly for any reason, this dog would go flying!  Just as the driving safely videos show things like drink bottles flying after a crash, so too would this little dog.  If it survived, it would likely need intensive medical care that would be both painful and expensive.

I don’t see enough dogs in Christchurch that are restrained properly using a car harness.  It’s very concerning.

I’ve even met and talked with vets about this subject, and many have admitted that although they know they should restrain their own dogs, they don’t!   Most vets don’t even ask as part of the annual check-up with their clients whether or not their dog travels in a vehicle and, if so, whether it is properly restrained.

We need more people leading from example….

…like the lovely lady who came yesterday to fit her Labrador puppy, Harley, with an auto harness.  She’s training him at a young age to accept being restrained in the car.

Please let me know if your vet encourages you to restrain your dog when traveling in the car.  I’d like to promote them via my Facebook page.  And send me photos of your dog safely restrained in the car!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

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2 responses to “Love your dog? Restrain it when riding in the car!

  1. Oh that photo is terrible! 😦 I restrain both my two whilst travelling because of the reasons that you’ve mentioned. You never know when a crash might happen or if you have to break suddenly! You wear a seatbelt… Kids wear seatbelts and so should dogs!

    Someone I know said that when she was pulled over by a cop here they asked if her dog was restrained. Although not a law they were asking out of curiosity, which I thought was awesome. Also once I saw one of those light up road signs that said “Buckle up…. Pets too!” 🙂

    • I think that all vets should ask about restraints in the car as part of their regular enquiries to clients. It is great if police are doing this, too. I know some states have laws about dogs being restrained – but not enough. We certainly do not have such regulation here (yet) and it doesn’t seem to be in the consciousness of most owners which is very concerning. Thanks for writing.

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