Dear Daisy Dog
I had a fender bender while my dog was in the car. I was wearing my seatbelt and was fine, but my dog – who was unrestrained – suffered some cuts and bruises. Moreover, she was so traumatized that she leaped around inside the car, urinating and defecating everywhere. How can I prevent this in the future?
When I ride in the car, I feel most secure when I am belted in. Yes, I wear a harness that accommodates a seat belt.
Under normal conditions, it allows me to sit and lie down on the back seat, but if Mom brakes suddenly, the seat belt locks and holds me in place. Consider something similar for your dog.
Another way to prevent your dog from bouncing around during an accident is to confine her to a carrier or crate secured to the inside of your car.
I have three retriever friends who visit me in their SUV. They are too big to wear seat belts and sit together on the back seat, and the SUV isn’t large enough to accommodate three crates.
So they wear harnesses clipped to restraint straps that are secured to fittings in the SUV’s cargo area. See www.champk-9.com/autosafetygear.htm for information.
In a crash, unrestrained dogs become projectiles. Not only can they be injured, but they can interfere with your ability to control the car and even injure you.
Your decision to restrain your dog is sound – and in some areas, it’s required by law.