Traveling with your Ridgeback
Getting in the car to travel somewhere with our pets is something that is common. It is probably so common that we do it without thinking. Each year in the US there are more than 6 million car accidents. To protect the general public, seat belt laws were put in place. Unfortunately as more pets became family members, their safety has not been a high priority.
We spend a lot on our dogs. The initial purchase price is typically around $2000 or more. So why do most people let their dogs ride unsecured in a vehicle? Because it's easy. It is cumbersome to put a harness on a dog and tether them to the vehicle, or to accommodate for a crate in our vehicle.
It is estimated that tens of thousands of accidents per year are caused by pets distracting a driver. Similar to a child, the front airbag system is deadly to dogs riding in the front seat, even if they are restrained. Unrestrained pets can become projectiles during an accident and easily be thrown from the vehicle. The front seat is not a safe place for your dog to ride. The safest place for your dog to ride is in the back seat or cargo area.
When you get into an accident many things can happen if your dog is not restrained. It can become a projectile, being thrown from the vehicle, it can become seriously injured or die, it could escape through a broken window, or bolt from the vehicle when someone approaches and opens a door. Accidents are traumatizing to dogs. It is up to us to protect them. We buckle our children into the car, so why don't we restrain our pets?
Options for Restraining Your Pet in the Car
I have extensively researched products to safely travel with my own dogs. The following is what I have learned by traveling with dogs for almost 20 years.