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My dogs have seatbelts, do yours?

by Therese on July 24, 2008

in Dogs, Pet Health, Pets

When I was about 5 years old I can remember my parents taking our car in to get seatbelts installed. Up until then we never owned a car with seatbelts. Back then they were an option, not a standard feature in cars, and I don’t think anybody really worried that much about seatbelts. After all, they had the steel of the car wrapped around them. For my parents though, I think having the door of another car open while it was running sold them on the idea of seatbelts! (It decided to open once when my mom turned the corner, and she did some fancy driving as she grabbed my arm to keep me from falling out. I can still remember how scary that was!)

Anyway, I think seatbelts for dogs have come about pretty much the same way. Most people don’t think twice about letting their dogs hop in the car and enjoy the ride. But letting Fido ride free in a car isn’t all that great of an idea and I think people are finally getting wise to the potential dangers. Whether it’s a crate or a pet seatbelt, more and more people are seeing the importance of having a pet strapped in.

Seatbelts for pets are like the ones we use in the sense that they can’t guarantee injuries won’t happen, but they certainly cut down the risk. When not restrained, a pet can work as a projectile and possibly hurt himself or someone else in the car. Even if he doesn’t slam into someone else in the car though, he’s simply at more risk of being hurt. Then there’s the chance he may get out of the car and run, if he’s not terribly hurt, which could be especially bad if you’re in no shape to go after him.

I never used to use seatbelts for my dogs. Instead I’d let them jump in and have free reign over the back seat and farther back. They were even allowed to sit in the front seat next to me if that’s what they wanted. Those days are gone though. I’ve developed a healthy paranoia and now they sit in the back seat with a harness that attaches to the seatbelt. Lydia doesn’t mind it but my overactive border collie, Archie, has a bit of a hard time with it.

And just so I don’t leave Tequila (the cat) out…whenever she has to go somewhere, she hangs out in her carrier behind the passenger seat.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jan July 25, 2008 at 1:16 pm

We had a very serious accident locally caused when a small dog got on the floor by the brake pedal. It made us all think twice about dog safety.

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John July 28, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Just drove across the country with two dogs in newly-purchased harnesses with mixed results. Jessie, in the front seat, would turn around and around on a regular basis until the harness twisted so much she couldn’t move. That lasted about 2 hours – by the fourth time I was pulling over to untangle it, I’d had enough. My little one in the back, Ginger, was better – but she was still able to pull out of the properly-fitted harness when she was tired of it and by the last day of the drive had had enough and stealthily chewed through the seat belt to make a surprise appearance in the front seat.

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