Travelling safely in the car with your dog.
A warning for all owners.
As most of you know, it is now the law to restrain your dogs in the car. While there are many definitions of restraint, it is important that you use a safe belt to avoid any injuries.
Albie is a crazy 9 month old Labrador who travels in the car frequently. Albie was wearing his harness and lead, with his lead tied to the seatbelt. While this did restrain him, it allowed too much movement and when Albie cleverly stepped on the window button and opened the window he jumped out. With enough slack on the lead to jump out but not enough to drop to the floor, poor Albie was left dangling, scraping his leg along the ground. Luckily, his shocked owner was quick to act and only minutes away from our clinic.
We anaesthetised Albie to clean his wounds and stitch them up. He required regular bandage changes until the stitches were ready to be removed and twice daily cleaning of his grazed knee. Incredibly, he did not have any broken bones or serious internal injuries. Albie’s owner bought enough safety harnesses to give to all of his friends and family to ensure their dogs never have to go through such a traumatic event.
How can you ensure your dog is safe in the car?
- Attach a seatbelt to a harness rather than to a collar. If your animal does jump out of the window or falls off the seat they won’t be hanging by their neck.
- When restraining your dog, we recommend you use a safety belt which clips into their harness/collar with less than 30cm of slack. There is also the option of a car harness which loops into the seatbelt but please ensure the seatbelt isn’t too loose.
- Always use the child safety window lock when your dog is in the car just incase they are clever enough to open the window.
If you are unsure of which seatbelt to use please come into Vet HQ to discuss it with us and check out the options.