Seat belts are just as important for our pets as they are for us

DEAR JOAN: I was disturbed by your response to Mr. Reiner in Monday’s column about the Yorkie who whines when he’s driving. It is unsafe to transport a dog in the front seat of any vehicle unless the front and side airbags are disabled.

It is also unsafe to transport dogs loose in any seat. Dogs should be transported in the rear seat in a crate, or their harness should be tethered to the seat belt using a seat-belt extender. Dog seats, beds and crates should be secured by the seat belt.

When braking sharply or when the car is hit, a loose dog can become a projectile. It can be seriously injured or killed, and injure or kill the driver or another person in the car.

I am disturbed every time I see a dog on the lap of a car’s driver. If they were in an accident, there is a good chance that dog would be crushed between the driver and the steering wheel. Please educate your readers and print an addendum to your response to the Yorkie owner. It could save human and canine lives.

Elaine Chanteloup, NorCal Animal Rescue & Toy Breed Rescue

DEAR ELAINE: Thanks for the admonishment. I wasn’t focused on how the dog was being transported, but I should have included those instructions. It isn’t safe to hold a dog in your lap unless it is secured with a seat belt, and air bags should be disabled.

I appreciate your reminding my readers of that, and yours wasn’t the only letter telling me I had been negligent in mentioning the safety rules.

And for the record, the letter writer says he uses a crate for his dog, but had been trying different things to figure out the whining.

DEAR JOAN: I just finished reading about the Yorkie whining and I was surprised you missed the opportunity to mention that she would be safer in a harness and seat belted, rather than riding on their laps.

There are great car seats for small dogs that are like beds, but puts them up higher so they can see out. It’s buckled in with the seat belt, and there’s a clip in the bed to hook to the dog’s collar, so in case of an accident the dog does not go flying.

It also helps prevent car sickness, because then they can see out the window. That was our motivation to get the elevated seat versus

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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