Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

8 tips to keep your 4-legged family member safe:

We buckle-up our kids, so why not buckle-up our four-legged family members also?
By Motherpedia
Date: November 20 2014
Tags: pet safety,
Editor Rating:
petlife-roadie

Here’s ‘paws’ for thought - each year In Australia, more than 5,000 dogs are injured or killed in auto-related accidents, most as a result of being ineffectively restrained in the car, or not restrained at all.

With an estimated 840,000 dogs about to take to the road this summer to accompany their owners on holidays, Purina is launching the first-ever Dogs in Cars Safety Week from 24-30 November to alert drivers to the dangers of driving with an unrestrained dog in the vehicle.

In a recent crash test by NRMA Insurance undertaken to urge pet owners to consider the safety of their pets and passengers when travelling in vehicles, a seatbelt known as the ‘petlife roadie’ was found to be the most effective, affordable and safe dog harness on the market. NRMA Insurance tested 25 pet harnesses across a range of manufacturers using life size and correctly weighted dog ‘dummies’ at speeds of up to 35km/h.

The NRMA crash test confirmed a fact that few drivers realise: even at a collision speed of below 20 km/h, an unrestrained pet, sitting in the back seat, can become a dangerous projectile. It can hit the dashboard with enough force to cause serious injury to the dog, driver and other passengers. 

“You wouldn’t drive without buckling up your child, and your dog is no different. Securing your pet can save their lives and yours,” says Nestle Purina PetCare Ambassador and emergency and critical care veterinarian, Dr Lisa Chimes, who is spearheading the campaign to reduce accidents and raise awareness.

“A properly harnessed dog is a must, not a maybe!”

“An effective harness is critical when travelling with a pet as it keeps the animal safe and restrained and avoids the driver being distracted while driving with the animal moving around inside the vehicle,” says NRMA Insurance Head of Research, Robert McDonald. 

“In a collision, an unrestrained pet has the potential to injure the driver and other passengers in the vehicle”.

It’s not just crashes that are cause for concern. In sharp turns and heavy braking, an unrestrained dog can become a safety hazard to everyone in the car, including itself. As well, dogs can get excited by various stimuli like other dogs they see out the window, and their unexpected movements can distract a driver, causing more incidents. Improperly or unrestrained dogs can also jump, or fall from utes.

Top safe dog driving tips from Purina include

1.  In the back!

Just like kids, pets are safest in the back. A dog in the front can distract the driver, and in a crash, the force of the air bags may fatally injure even large dogs. And never drive with your dog in your lap!

2.  The right restraint

All restraints are not created equal. Some are not designed to withstand the force of sudden stops or turns. Clipping your usual dog lead to a seat belt won’t prevent your dog from being propelled in a crash.

3.  Ute-sense

By law, dogs must be restrained in the back of a ute, or other open vehicle or trailer. If a dog is not secured with a short lead, that allows him to reach the sides, then he may easily become tangled in it, fall or jump out, causing a potentially fatal injury. If they are riding in the back, remember you must protect your pet from the elements.

4.  Head and paws in the car

Putting his head out the window may expose the dog’s sensitive eyes, ears and nose to harmful particles of dirt and dust, which can cause infection. He also runs the risk of bumping into objects.

5.  Are we there yet?

Kids aren’t the only ones who get bored and restless. Dogs too need frequent breaks. Try to stop every two hours for water, a toilet break and a short walk. On alternative stops, let your pet have a run if possible and a sniff of the area for interest’s sake, but don’t let him overheat. Be sure your dog is safe when in a strange place, especially in high traffic areas. Keep him on the lead or in a secure fenced place, which permits dogs off lead.

6.  Keep it cool

Dogs can rapidly dehydrate and suffer from heat stress during the warmer months, and the inside of cars heat up quickly. Never leave a pet unattended in a car, no matter if the weather is hot or cold.

7.  Zen-out zone

Tailor the length of the journey to your dog’s personality and how much he can handle comfortably. If your pet is nervous in the car, try spraying lavender or ADAPTIL, a pheromone which may calm him down and also helps with car sickness. Some dogs react well to calming music, and often closing the windows against strange loud noises zipping by and putting on the air-conditioner may soothe him to sleep.

8.  Your dog is a backseat driver

Your dog responds to your moods. If you stay cool and collected in the car, your dog will be a relaxed traveller. If you get angry or anxious, he may become frightened and stressed. So keep calm and drive on, remembering to speak to him encouragingly from time to time to keep him happy and secure.

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Recent Comments
0 Total Comments
Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:


Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:33343


Your Comment has been posted
Related Articles
dr_katrina_and_wonderdogs_pyramid
Dr Katrina Warren urges Australians to protect pets against fleas…
Read more
snoopy-lucy-kiss
Lucy over-reacted when she was kissed by Snoopy, but there…
Read more
dogs_eating_wrong_food
Maintaining a healthy weight can add years to a dog's…
Read more
boy_boxer_image
A Sydney-based school holiday program for the animal lover in…
Read more
Shipping-containers-freight-wallpaper-preview

Latest Tech Used In Shipping Containers
Read how the shipping industry has revolutionised

Motherpedia cover-2

Win 1 set of a 4-book hardcover illustrated boxed set
Barbara Murray’s new 4-book Sound Stories is perfect for parents and educators and could assist with NAPLAN results

Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Vtech giveaway motherpedia

Win 1 of 3 VTech Toys Pack Giveaway
Playtime is so much more with VTech

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Moonlight lifestyle

Moonlight Cinema to bring…
Moonlight Cinema announces brand new Western Sydney venue

Screen shot 2019-11-26 at 8.29.12 am

Your Magical Christmas Wonderland…
Adventure park is about to light up the night sky with its "Christmas Festival of Lights"

Screen shot 2019-11-21 at 11.11.36 am

The Preston Market Gets…
It's time to feel pumped up for the holiday season!

Bruno-kelzer-zqzuigxcvrq-unsplash

Bunnings team members get…
Help raise funds by buying a snag or donating at your local store.