All dog owners have to ride with their dogs in the car from time to time.
It could be taking them to the vet, the groomer, or even just a good old car ride.
Most dogs also get super excited when they hear the jingling of car keys or the phrase, “up for a ride buddy?” Car rides are treats and a chance for the dog owners to spend more time with their loved pups.
The majority of dogs and their owners would rather have the dogs in the front passenger seat where they are closer, but the dog can also enjoy sticking their head out the window to get the breeze they love so much.
A shotgun is not a recommended way for dogs to ride in a car, whether they have seat belts on or not. There are many reasons why it is not recommended to have your dog sit shotgun, and they are all safety-related measures.
Below is more on why dogs should not ride shotguns and why it is dangerous for the dog, the dog owner, and other road users.
Reasons why your dog should never ride shotgun
No matter how much you would want to have your dog by your side on your car ride, below are some reasons why you should never let your dog ride in the front passenger seat:
This should not be up for elaboration, but we can still point out the obvious fact that accidents happen.
Accidents not only occur, but they also happen fast; it just takes a matter of seconds.
Hundred of dogs get injured and even killed each year in car accidents simply because their owners went soft about safety.
It is no doubt that one can get lax about a simple trip to the coffee shop, but that should not be the case.
This is because, during a collision, a dog riding in the front seat is just as much at risk as a person would be.
This entails getting whiplash due to the impact, hitting the dashboard, or even going through the windshield.
What can worsen the situation for dogs, however, is not having restraints on them.
On most occasions, the dogs allowed to ride shotgun are never put in harnesses or even buckled up in any way.
This tendency is extremely dangerous.
If taken into perspective, you would not be comfortable with your loved one riding around without a seatbelt on; why then are dogs any different?
In that case, in the event of a collision, there is a high chance of your dog being thrown around the car and causing them many injuries or even being thrown through the windshield.
A research pointed out that if you are traveling with a 75-pound dog in a car that is going at a speed of 30 miles per hour and an accident occurs, the dog is estimated to exert about 2,250 pounds in terms of force on whatever it comes into collision with.
That is about the same force as if you get hit with a small horse on the chest.
On top of all that, unrestrained dogs have been seen to get out of crashed vehicles and then run right into traffic.
Again, this is attributed to the confusion and trauma collisions cause, and usually, they just want to get away from the point of trauma as fast as possible.
It has been stated repeatedly by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that children below the age of 13 years should not be riding in the front passenger seat.
This is attributed to the fact that if at all an impact occurs, the airbags going off could cause some serious damage.
This is attributed to having more to do with height than age because the rule usually is that a seat belt should not fall across one’s neck but one chest.
The American Veterinary Medical Association stated that the risks associated with the airbags are also applicable to dogs.
For example, if you have your dog in the front passenger seat and then get into an accident, your dog’s weight on the passenger seat will signal to the airbag that is in front of that seat that it needs to inflate.
Which will cause serious injuries to your dog, especially because the airbags deploy at a force of 200 miles per hour.
Is there any recommended way to reverse the airbag situation?
If it is somehow compulsory that your dog rides with you at the front, you can put him on a booster seat that has o weight to apply to the actual seat.
However, the best and recommended place for your dog to ride is in the back seat.
Sitting upright during a car ride, especially if it is a long one, would not be the most comfortable posture for your dog.
The front passenger seat is only equipped for sitting upright.
When going on long car rides, dogs need just as much comfort and support as we do for their bodies to prevent them from starting to lash out.
Having the back seats of your car equipped with a harness and even your dog’s comfort blanket would be the perfect way for your dog to ride the car.
Dogs get excited being allowed into cars to run whatever errands the owner needs to.
This can be when they are being taken to a dog park or even the beach.
The only downside to this is that they can be a huge distraction to the person driving.
This is an issue that even affects the small dogs, for they can easily get scared and find their way to your feet, therefore blocking your brake pedal.
They can even want to be on your lap for you to pet them and thus cause interference with the steering wheel.
Because dogs are so cute, it is only human that you would want to pet them and keep them from chewing up on the different knobs in the car, and it is through that that one finds himself at a stop sign that you had not seen coming.
Many states have laws against having a pet with you at the front seat, as it is referred to as distracted driving.
The front passenger seat is a no-go zone for dogs and pets in general.
There are safer ways to ride in the car with your dogs, such as a travel harness, carrier, or even a crate.
Be sure to be wise when riding the car with your dog!