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Guest Post: Keeping Your Other Kids Safe in the Car: Dog

by Ryan on February 13, 2013

in Guest Post

Would you ever think that your dog could drive a car? Apparently in New Zealand, dogs are doing just that. The country’s SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has created a program that teaches canines simple movements through voice commands that allow them to start, accelerate and steer a vehicle. The purpose is to give potential parents extra incentive to follow through with an adoption. See the ITN News story on the video below for a jaw dropping good time for the whole family. Yes, it’s really doggies driving cars.

Do you take measures to keep your “other kids” safe when driving or are you guilty of letting them roam free? It’s important to keep your pooch just as safe as you keep yourself and your kids. Whether you’re in the market for a new car or just need some advice for your current one, there are a few things to think about when loading your precious cargo.

The Right Ride

Whether you are an adopted mom to a couple of Teacup Chihuahuas, a Border Collie or two Great Danes (Oh my!), the type of car you have will determine the ease of the road trip, visit to the park or even the daily simple trip to the store. If you always take your little guy/s with you, consider an SUV with a durable interior. The Toyota FJ Cruiser is not only cute as could be but it’s perfect for the adventurous dog lover. With a 260-hp V6 engine, great ground clearance, swing out back door and rubber flooring for easy spray down, it’s perfect for the whole outdoorsy family from the ground up.

An option to consider if you want a few additional features than the FJ would be one of the Hondas at Jean Knows Cars. Specifically the Honda Pilot when it comes to a dog-friendly vehicle. Its boxy design gives ample space to store cargo, dog crates and people. The navigation has recently been updated, which comes in handy for us single moms trying to find our way. Jean Jennings, Editor-in-Chief of Automobile Magazine, offers a unique perspective in an otherwise male-dominated industry. Her website gives insight and inspiration to women of all ages that we, too, can find our way through research and knowledge.

Taking Doggie From Here to There

While it provides us much joy to watch our dogs loving life as their heads poke out the window, snouts sniff the breeze and hair blow in the wind, it is also putting them in danger if not held with a harness and tether. A safety system doesn’t restrain them to the point that it’s uncomfortable. It gives them freedom to lay down, stand up and move around. It also protects them from injuring (or scaring) themselves when falling to the floor during an unexpected stop. Either a harness system or a crate should be holding your dog when riding in the car at all times. It is a member of the family and everyone should be safe and sound under your watch.

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