If you are driving around town, on highways, or traveling anywhere with your dog – please don’t drive with your dog on your lap! Heck, don’t drive with your dog not restrained. I know dogs like sticking their heads out vehicle windows for that fresh air, but just because they like something doesn’t mean we’re going to let them have it, does it? If they like to eat rocks, are we going to feed them rocks so they can get an obstruction? No!
Why, why, WHY do people allow their dogs to ride in their laps while they’re driving?! WHY?! This isn’t safe for the driver or the dog.
Scenario #1 – Missy is a darling little 4 year old Maltese who has been going for rides on her person’s lap for years now. Her person, Ms. Sally is a very careful driver. Missy loves to stick her face out the window and sometimes while they’re just sitting in traffic, she likes to stand at the open window with her two front legs up. Well this Monday morning, Ms. Sally was sitting in stop and go traffic. Someone decided to weasel their way in front of Ms. Sally. She had to slam on her brakes. Guess where Missy went? As Missy wasn’t expecting the brakes to be hit suddenly, she went out the opened window. Ms. Sally normally has the window up when they’re driving, but she had forgotten to roll the window back up due to the stop and go traffic.
Scenario #2 – Oliver is a Boston Terrier who also loves to go for rides with his person, John. Oliver also gets to ride on John’s lap. They were out running a bunch of errands… they were coming up on a crosswalk rather quickly and some person decided to jump into the crosswalk and start walking. John had to slam on his brakes. He held Oliver as best he could. But then the driver behind them slammed into John’s truck. John wasn’t expecting this and was jostled from the impact and Oliver went flying.
Scenario #3 – Beastie, my beloved Spaniel was sitting in the passenger seat of my Toyota 4×4 back in 1993. He wasn’t allowed to sit on my lap while I was driving, but I never thought to have him restrained… I was driving to work one day, it was raining. We hit a very deep puddle and went hydroplaning – we went in quite a few circles over quite a few lanes. Beastie ended up on the floorboards of my truck, and I ended up scared out of my wits end. I thanked the Lord because that could have been much worse. Beastie could have crashed through the windshield, we could have been hit. But we weren’t. That was when Beastie received his first seatbelt.
Missy and Oliver and any other dogs’ injuries can be prevented as well.
There are so many safety products on the market today – there are seatbelts for dogs – harnesses that turn into seatbelts, crates, booster seats, and more. Check out this post from The Bark Box for detailed information.
Please don’t drive with your dogs on your lap and definitely don’t drive with your dogs in the bed of your truck without them in a crate.