Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dogs and driving: What's the safest place for your dog in your car?

Pug puppy with his toy in the back of a car
Oregon currently bans drivers from texting and holding a cell phone while driving. A Tri-Met bus driver recently lost his job after being caught reading his Kindle while driving on his route. Oregonians claim to be concerned about the issue of distracted driving.

And yet, it is still common to see dog owners holding their dogs on their laps while driving. I've seen drivers talking to their dogs while driving, rather than looking at the road. And I've seen dogs leap from the driver's lap in order to run to the window to bark. 

We should all know better. Holding a dog in your lap while you're driving can be catastrophic for the dog in case of an accident. The airbag impact will crush the dog right into your chest. And small, active dogs are a huge distraction while you're driving. They bark; they move; they want you to interact with them.

I use a barrier to keep Liam in the back of the car.  He has a comfy bed, plenty of toys and a small bowl of water. He can see outside, and I can see him, but he cannot distract me while I am driving. This is the best way to keep everyone safe, and if you're not doing something similar with your dog when you're driving, it's time to start.

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