It’s almost a rite of passage to have a dog by your side if you happen to own a pickup truck. It seems like they go together like bread and butter.
But if you do have a dog with you in your truck, you want to make sure you are keeping them safe. Many people put their dogs in danger and they don’t even realize it.
Although some pickup trucks may have a backseat, many of them only have the bench seat upfront. Dogs are often encouraged to ride in the back of the truck in the truck bed. It keeps the inside of the truck clean and allows the dog to get some fresh air.
When you hear the statistic from American Humane, you may want to change your habits. They say that more than 100,000 dogs die annually from accidents associated with riding in the back of a pickup truck.
Consider these four reasons as to why you should keep the dog upfront with you.
Even if the dog is well-trained, they are still curious and may jump out of the bed of the truck without thinking about it. Steve Scherer of Quincy Animal Control told KHQA about the risks associated with having a dog riding in the back of a truck.
“The dog could see something and jump,” he said.
Even if the dog is relatively calm, they may see something nearby that catches their attention and frightens them. KHQA speaks of veterinarians who talk about seeing numerous cases of dogs being injured after jumping out of truck beds. It can result in a broken bone or joint injuries that are traumatic and may require amputation.
“Most dogs are smart enough not to [jump],” Scherer added, “but I would worry about getting in an accident.”
In the event of an accident, the dog may become a ‘projectile’, causing other drivers to swerve with dangerous consequences for everyone.
When a dog is riding in the back of a truck, they are exposed to the weather openly. The heavy winds experienced when the truck is in motion can put the dog’s lungs under pressure. As the truck drives faster, flying debris, including bugs, pebbles, and gravel can cause damage to the dog’s nasal passages or eyes. In some cases, they may even become a choking hazard.
The sun may feel good from inside the truck but in the bed of the truck, things could heat up quickly. The floor of the truck bed could be hot enough to cause 2nd or 3rd-degree burns on their paw pads. Some dogs have even suffered from fatal heat strokes.
You can’t always trust a leash
Some dog owners leash their dogs into the back of the truck but this can also cause additional problems.
“Many dogs have been strangled when tossed or bumped over the side of the truck,” says American Humane.
You may not be fast enough to save your dog’s life if it happens while you are driving.
A similar issue can occur if you have your dog in a cage in the back of a truck. If an accident were to happen, especially a rollover, the dog would be trapped and could not escape the vehicle to avoid injury.
It Can Frighten the Dog
You may think that your dog is having a lot of fun riding in the back of a truck but canines can get spooked easily. A loud noise or sudden gust of wind or even the feeling of instability can lead to anxiety.
In the end, the only way to keep your dog as safe as possible is to keep them up front with you. You might also want to consider leaving them at home.
Please keep your pets safe!
This story originally appeared at Goodfullness.