- Put the dog in the back seat, if you have one. Air
bags can kill dogs as easily as children in the front seat, and the back side of the front
seat is considerably softer than the dash.
- NEVER attach the tether to a collar - use a harness
of some sort, preferably one that doesn't rely on nylon buckles to carry the load.
- Train the dog to want to put the harness on - this minimizes the stress on both
the dog and the handler by reducing the amount of manhandling
required to get him in it. Start by clicker-training the dog to step
into the harness on the ground.
- Check the fit/adjustment of the harness on the dog frequently. If the
harness loosens up, the dog may be able to slip out of it, especially in the
forces of an accident.
- If you can attach the tether high on the car seat,
it's easier for the dog to turn around without getting hog-tied. My
dogs have learned to turn to the inside and
getting their noses under the strap so they don't get tangled up.
- I used to attach the dog tether to the stock seat belts by
double-wrapping the carabiner around the seat belt strap. But I had some
concerns about the "play" in the belt before the inertial reel kicks in.
After I thought about it some more, I decided just this morning (6/25/12) to
switch my attachment point from the seat belts to the steel posts of the
rear headrests. Not only does this take the play out of the equation, but
it's considerably easier to manage on the odd occasion when I actually
transport humans in the back seat - now they can use the stock seat belts
without fighting with the dog tethers.
- I am going to create a brightly-colored laminated
card that attaches to my dog's restraint that says the following - you might want to do
"EMERGENCY INFORMATION: Hi -
I'm Jasmine. If I am injured in an accident, please call Animal Control or law enforcement
and have me transported to the nearest qualified emergency veterinary facility for all
necessary treatment. My expenses will be guaranteed by my owner, Holly Newman, and you can
call my vet [or my trainer or my friend or my mother or whomever I work this out with] at
###-###-#### for verification of this guarantee."
- In the discussion following the accident I mentioned on the Intro page,
I have also heard other great travel safety tips - like making a laminated
card to clip on your keychain that says "My dogs are home alone" with a
phone number of an emergency contact. That way if you are injured in an
accident without all of your dogs, the ones at home will get the care they
need in your absence.
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© Holly Newman 2000-2016. All rights reserved.
Photos for owner's use only. Reproduction or commercial use allowed only with permission
of both owner and photographer.