Dogs in Cars
This story about a San Diego poodle who miraculously survived a rollover accident and hours weaving down a highway fails to mention if the dog had been restrained. I'm guessing not. This happy-ending incident provides more evidence of how a seat restraint or a secured crate protects canine passengers, in this case, by keeping them from wandering into traffic after an accident.
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Speaking of dogs in cars, here are some tips I learned during my travels with pooches:
Label your Dog
Make sure that your dog's collar is secure, and that your phone number is securely fastened to it. If you're going to be stopping in many different places, it might be good to keep a supply of those paper and string key tags available so that you can write the current phone number of the hotel and other local information on it and replace them as needed.
Crate your Dog
The Norman Rockwell picture of the family vacation: kids in the backseat, family dog with it's head out the window is an enduring image. Even though dogs seem to love hanging out the window, it can be dangerous. Rocks, bugs, even the wind can cause damage to sensitive ears and eyes. Sure, open the windows a bit so Fido can get a good sniff in, but don't let your dog run loose in the car.
Your dog should be crated in the backseat of the car, in a securely fastened crate large enough for him to turn around in. This will prevent him from becoming a fuzzy projectile if you have an accident, and will protect him, as well.
There are also 'dog seatbelts' that can be used, if your dog will sit calmly in the seat. Some dogs hate them, others could care less.
Exercise your Dog
Just like us, dogs get pretty tired of sitting down and staring at the passing scenery. They need to be walked regularly and given a chance to eat and drink. Bring a long leash and make sure you control your dog completely at any stop. Some dogs get very stressed when away from home and may bolt from the car and run away in a strange town.
NEVER LEAVE A DOG UNATTENDED IN A CAR. EVER
In hot weather, a car is a large dog-oven. Don't ever leave your dog in the car, even with the windows open. Even in cold weather, sun on the closed-in car can heat it up to uncomfortable levels, and leaving the windows open is an invitation for your dog to jump out and run away in a strange place.
Make sure to call ahead and verify that the hotel takes dogs - never try to "sneak" a dog into a hotel, thinking that no one will notice. Many hotels have specific pet policies (a deposit, extra for the room, etc) that you should follow to the letter. Don't ruin it for someone else traveling with pets by being a bad guest.
Walk your dog away from the grassy areas in front of the hotel. Make sure you pick up after your dog. Don't let your dog bark, and don't leave him alone in the hotel room - either take him with you , or don't go yourself.
A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog!
Posted by: Orlando | Jul 21, 2008 10:50:29 PM
What a heart warming story. It breaks my heart when I see a dog on the side of the road. I'm glad this one ended with a happy ending.
Posted by: Jeff | Jul 13, 2008 11:06:52 PM
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