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Stay Safe When Driving with Dogs

Caliber Collision has seen all kinds of accidents, including those that happened while driving with dogs.

There's nothing better than driving with the windows down, the wind blowing up your snout. That is IF you're a dog. Car rides are a bonding experience between you and your four-legged friend. But, it can also become dangerous if you aren't practicing proper dog car safety.

Why? Driving with dogs is often distracting. In the U.S. in 2018, over 2,800 people were killed and over 400,000 were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver. With the right precautions, you can keep both you and your dog happy and safe. Below are some things you should know and have on hand before you and your pooch hit the open road.

Buckle Up

It may be cute to have your dog sitting in your lap behind the wheel, but it’s not a good idea. Not only can they take your attention away from the road, but they might also get in the way during a crucial maneuver. It's best to have your pup secured in their seat for your safety and there's.

The New York Times breaks it down for us. "In a typical 30 mile-an-hour head-on crash, a 50-pound dog flies forward with an impact force of 1,500 pounds." If you wear your seatbelt, why shouldn't your dog? There are lots of inexpensive ways to help your dog buckle up. Whether you have a calm pup that will stay put or an explorer that wants to move around, there's a product out there.

Keep it Clean When Driving with Dogs

When you invite your furry friend into your car you also invite in dirt and dander. For those lucky enough to have leather seats to wipe away the mess, some drivers prefer cloth seats. Thankfully, the mess can be contained with a dog seat cover.

With so many different styles, sizes, and colors you can find the perfect match for your car's interior. The hammock-like car seat cover also helps prevent your pup from sneaking up to the front.

You should also explore finding a collision-safe pet barrier. We know it’s tough, but keeping your car in the far rear of the vehicle (in the hatch if you have a hatchback or SUV) will keep you safer and your car cleaner.

Don't Park it With Your Pup

Another important thing to remember when driving with dogs is that they shouldn't go everywhere. If you're planning on running errands, it's best to just leave your pet at home.

Whether it's cold or warm outside, trapping your dog in the car while you go shop is a no-no. Even if it doesn't feel too hot to you, your dog may think otherwise. Dogs do not sweat to release heat. To make things worse, most dogs’ internal temperatures are normally between 101 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit and the only way their heat escapes is by panting. This means that every second your dog is in the car, they are actively heating it up with their breath. Leaving your dog in a hot car even for just a few minutes can cause heatstroke.