The Best Ways to Control Your Dog When He Travels With You
There are several methods dog owners can use to maintain control of their animals during travel.
To avoid using them is a major mistake that can create many problems.
Make Sure to Train Your Dog
The most important way to maintain control of your dog is to make sure he is properly trained.
Few people tend to take their pets to dog training classes or know how to train them, themselves because doing so is expensive and time consuming.
However, a dog that you are unable to control with voice or hand commands can become a major danger to you as well as to other people when you are on the move.
Leash Your Dog
The second control method is to keep your dog leashed at all times when the two of you leave your vehicle.
Some people think it's fun to let their dogs run loose at rest stops or in other open areas,but the truth is that this can lead to injuries and even death.
I know, because one of my dogs died years ago as the result of my own stupidity when it came to leashing her.
Use Physical Restraints
In 2012 several states quietly passed laws requiring people to secure their dogs when traveling in moving vehicles.
Many dog owners are not happy about the changes because they
- like driving with their little buddies on their laps,
- enjoy watching them stick their heads out of vehicle windows and
- love it when they curled up cozily on passenger seats and allow the road vibrations to lull them to sleep.
Aside from these things, manyindividuals think it is ridiculous to ask people put seat belts on animals!
However, now that these laws are already active in Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Hawaii and New Jersey , it is becoming obvious that people need to rethink their attitudes.
Two good reasons are that if they get caught breaking them, the fines will be significant, and if they ignore their responsibilities and then have an accident, both they and their dog could die!
Restraint Laws Protect Lives
While the laws about dog restraints appear to infringe on the rights of animal owners, people need to understand that the real reason for their existence is to protect human lives.
My husband and I traveled in recreational vehicles with our pets long before restraining pets in vehicles became an issue.
I clearly remember one incident where our female German Shepherd, who really didn’t like it when we argued, wormed her way under my husband’s legs while he was driving our van on the interstate.
Her behavior could have caused an accident had we immediately lowered our voices and urged her to back out from behind his legs.
Prior to that event, we never gave the first thought about the fact that allowing her to travel freely could become a danger.
This is a small example, but one that makes my point.
We loved her, and we certainly would never have done anything to harm her. We just didn’t know any better!
A Few Facts
Many people who travel like taking their dogs with them because they are often gone for long periods of time and don’t want to imprison their babies in kennels or leave them wondering if they’ll ever see their masters again.
Although most would agree that allowing pets to travel unrestrained is dangerous, fewer than 20% actually take steps to limit the movement of their dogs while their vehicles are in motion.
- Some may not even realize that allowing pets to move freely is a potential danger.
- Others may know that it is but simply assume that they won’t have any problems as the result of not restraining their animals while driving.
- Many may also feel that since officers can’t see inside of their cars while they’re on the move, they won’t get caught, so why go to the expense and trouble of trying to stay legal?
What they don’t realize is that if they have to make a sudden stop, an unrestrained animal becomes a flying missile that can lose its own life and kill its owners.
Furthermore, depending on the speed of a vehicle and the size and weight of an animal, the force with which a dog could hit something or someone in a collision could easily be upwards of 750 lbs!
This is why controlling a dog with harnesses that have been proven to be effective is so important.
Do All Restraints Work?
A big and virtually unknown problem with popular brands of dog restraints is that most of them do not live up to their promises.
The videos I show here that are put out by the CBC Marketplace is proof positive that using those restraints is a waste of money and is dangerous. Be sure to view them because doing so will make you realize just how dangerous using the wrong restraints can be.
Out of 16 dog harnesses tested, only one really worked!
So, if you're going to buy a harness for your dog, the Center for Pet Safety says the Sleepypod is the one you should spend your money on, and their crash tests prove this to be true.
They come in three sizes, so there is one to fit any dog.
This dog harness is the only one that has been proven in crash tests to work effectively to protect dogs as well as people.
Common Sense Should Prevail
Dogs come in a variety of sizes, so controlling some while traveling can be easier than doing the same with others.
The larger they are, the more dangerous they can become if there is an accident.
- If people simply cannot tolerate leaving their dogs behind while they vacation, they might want to consider staying home.
- Another alternative would be to take short trips by plane so that a dog does not have to do without his daily pleasures.
The point here is that people have to weigh personal safety against inconvenience, and use some common sense when it comes to taking their dogs with them when they drive with them in their cars.
The Choice Is Clear
Now that animal restraint laws are in place, and that soon other states will probably adopt similar ones, maybe it’s time for people to become more responsible when it comes to driving with their pets.
If they don't want to do so, perhaps the hefty fines of up to $1,000 will convince them that they need to take action.
The choice is very clear. Either do what you must to protect the safety of your family and pet by keeping him under control when you are traveling with him, or leave him at home.
If you travel with your dog, do you
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