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How to Make Your Car a Safe Place for Your Dog

Learn how to make the car safer for your dog.

It's almost as natural as breathing for most of us: getting in the car and driving somewhere to get something done. It can be enjoyable to bring your dog along with you when you need to drive somewhere, but did you know that there are some things you need to keep in mind keep your dog safe while you're driving? There are, and we'll discuss some of them here.

Secure Your Pet Properly

The first rule of driving in the car with your dog is to make sure that he is adequately secured. If he is loose in the car, he might distract you or climb on you and cause an accident, or he might be more prone to car sickness.

A dog that's free in the car could also be injured by the airbags in a crash, or he might jump down onto the floor and hit the gas or brake pedal, resulting in an accident.

To confine and secure your dog in the car, you can either put him in a crate on the floor of the car if he's small enough or use a dog seatbelt or harness. A little dog might be able to use a booster seat. All of these are safer options than having your dog free in the car. You can learn more about this issue here: "Restrain Your Dog While Driving."

Don't Keep Garbage in Your Car

If you take your dog places in the car, be sure that you don't keep garbage in there as well. When you have garbage or food readily available in the car, your dog might get into it either while you are driving or if you leave him alone for a minute while you go into a store. Eating garbage can cause significant health problems for your dog, including pancreatitis and intestinal obstruction. Make it a habit of bringing all of your garbage inside with you every time you get out of the car if you travel with your dog.

Keep the Car Doors Secured

If you travel in the car with your dog, it's important to pay attention to the car doors. Make sure they lock automatically when you get into the car so your dog can't stand up on the arm of a door and open it while you're traveling. Also, be sure that children don't open the doors and leave them open for your dog to escape through during stops.

Make sure everyone who travels in the car knows the rules when it comes to the doors and your dog.

Keep the Windows Closed

Dogs often love to hang their heads out of car windows and see what's going by. People like to keep the windows open so that they can do this. However, allowing your dog to stick his head out the window is dangerous. Many dogs suffer from eye injuries when they do this, and they sometimes also jump out of a window if they see something enticing outside, like another dog. Many people assume their dog won't jump out of a moving car, but many of them absolutely will, and they often suffer broken bones or death when they do so.

Keep the windows closed when you're driving with your dog. If you must allow your dog to have his head out, consider using doggles to help protect his eyes.

Extreme Temperatures

If you take your dog with you and then leave him in the car while you go into a store, he is at risk of developing severe problems or death from extreme heat or cold. Leaving your dog inside a parked car is extremely dangerous, and you shouldn't do so any time the weather is hot or cold.

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