By Jean Sutherland

Dogs & Cars


A friend of mine with a beautiful pit bull was driving to a friend’s house for an afternoon play date. Her dog in the back of the car was clearly excited as she knew that a ride in the car meant afternoon fun.

Unfortunately, on the way there, the car was in an accident and hit almost head on. Due to the fact that the car was not traveling that fast the friend was fine as her air bag deployed and saved her from serious injury. Unfortunately the dog was not as lucky. She was thrown from the back seat right into the windshield and died almost immediately. This is becoming a scenario often seen across North America and the sad part is it was preventable.

A car traveling at 24 miles an hour, hit head on will propel a dog straight into the windshield with death almost a certainty. We’ve all seen the TV news spots where manufacturers test driving cars into a wall show in great detail what happens to a human inside the vehicle, even with air bags deploying.

The sad part of the story is that the injuries to the animal could have been prevented. Today most pet stores carry different lines of restraints that are designed specifically for dogs and cats in vehicles. Some of the popular ones are a harness that clips into the regular seat belt of any car. The newer cars that have baby seat brackets are also a perfect fit for these harnesses. Harnesses are also adaptable for the back of a truck or a SUV.

The restraints are easy to put on your pet and then install in the vehicle. Many of us consider our pets to be family and often we don’t think of the dangers the inside of a car can present to the pet and to the driver. Besides protecting the pet’s life, these restraints are a great way to keep a dog under control while you are driving the vehicle.

Restraints can be ordered online and start in the $19.99 price range and go up from there. They are comfortable for the pet to wear and when put on inside the home the pet knows immediately it will be going for a ride in the car. This helps to reinforce a positive experience for the pet to relate to and they will in time offer no resistance to wearing the harness.

Dogs and their noses are often close to windshields, so it’s best to have your dog in the rear seat. Air bags deploy from the dash of a car at 140 miles an hour and just as it’s not recommended to have children in the front of the car, the same holds true for dogs. The further away from the windshield, the more likely your dog will not be injured.

If you have old towels or cleaning supplies around the home please drop them off to Anita at the Ajijic Tianguis on Wednesday. We always need old newspapers and are happy to take them off your hands.

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