Do Dogs Need To Wear A Seat Belt?
Do dogs need a seat belt?
Well, the short answer to that is yes. You need to tether your pooch, and there’s a myriad of reasons for that.
Even the calmest and disciplined dog out there has the chance to go rowdy once in a ride. Of course, you wouldn’t want that to happen, especially since it can distract you from driving.
However, many pet owners are seemingly unaware of this. In a survey last 2011 conducted by the American Automobile Association and Kurgo (a pet company), it has been found out that at least 84 percent of drivers don’t belt their pets on their seats.
Why Do You Need To Buckle Your Dog While Driving?
The answer is simple, and it has been mentioned in the introductory part of this article. Once your dog is restrained, they will never be able to do things that would distract you. Of course, that’s a crucial factor here.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States, thousands of people get injured or killed because of distracted driving. While most of these fatalities are related to smartphones, this doesn’t mean that your dog is not capable of messing your concentration.
Based on the survey conducted by the AAA and Kurgo, many pet owners admitted that they are being distracted whenever their dogs are moving around their vehicles. That alone is proof that you need to tether your dog while you are on a car trip.
However, this is not the only danger of having a dog that is not constrained in a car seat. You see, whenever you encounter an accident, a dog that is not strapped will become a projectile. Even during sudden brakes could ricochet them. You should not take this lightly, either. If you have a ten-pound dog, it can generate at least 500 pounds of force whenever you experience a 60-mile-per-hour collision. It is quite scary if you think about it. The danger that it can pose to you, to other drivers and your dog is exceptionally serious.
Dog owners have to be responsible when it comes to their fur babies. Every time you drive, you have to make sure that your buddy is carefully buckled.
Seat Belt Laws Pertaining To Dogs
Right now, only a few countries have implemented this kind of policy. In fact, in the United States, there are only three states that impose the law that dogs should be wearing seat belts. Specifically, these states are New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Hawaii. Other states don’t have seat belt laws for dogs. However, they have strict policies that prohibit pets from the lap of the driver or the back of a pick-up truck.
Even if there are no state laws in your area that are similar to these restrictions, you can still get a ticket for distracted driving for the mere fact that your dogs are not restrained. Cops can pull you over for that reason.
How Does A Seat Belt For Dogs Operate?
There’s a minimal difference between human seat belts and the buckles for our fur buddies. Specifically, these special seat belts are forms of harnesses. They come in the form of a padded vest that goes over to the head of your dog and straps at the latter’s chest. Just like seats for babies, these harnesses are attached to the seat belt of the car.
You can know if the seat belt is ergonomic if it allows your buddy to sit up and lie down but without enabling them to move on either side. Of course, the tautness of the buckle is one of the factors that you should look at. You don’t want your dog to go flying whenever you hit the brakes suddenly.
If your dog is capable of wiggling while in a harness, it could be a sign that the latter is too big or has a poor design. Before you take your dog for a drive, make sure that the seat belt is compatible with your pet.
Do Dogs Need A Special Car Seat?
In normal cases, a car seat for dogs is not that mandatory. However, if you have a pup, it is a prudent idea that you invest in a car seat. When choosing one, make sure that the carrier is snug. It should not be too spacious; otherwise, your dog can still move around.
It is easy to determine if the car seat is perfect for your dog. Just measure your pet from the tip of its nose down to the base of its tail. After that, add six inches, and you are good to go. This dimension will allow your dogs to have a decent moving space while ensuring that they won’t slam to the crate.