Sunday, June 22, 2008

Car travel safety for dogs.

I am passing this along as first hand experience in the hope that it doesn't happen to you. If you travel with your dog in the back seat and have power windows PLEASE lock the window switches after you have opened the dog's window for them to get fresh air while the vehicle is moving. It might be a good idea to set the window locks even if the windows are up. Here's why...

We met some friends today for a doggie day out at the beach. Afterwards we were invited over to their house for coffee/tea/scones. As we were pulling into their yard we were watching them direct us where to park, not paying attention to our dog Sydney in the back seat. Because they arrived just ahead of us they were out of their vehicle when we were pulling up next to them. Apparently Sydney stood on the arm of the door, which she has a habit of doing, and in doing so she pushed down on the power window button thereby lowering the window all the way. She then was so overcome with excitement at seeing her friends next to the car that she jumped out of the car! Thank goodness we were moving at a snail's pace and no harm came to her, but we were stunned that this could and did happen. Never in a million years did we think to lock out the power window buttons in the car for the dog. I hope this doesn't make us sound negligent in the treatment of our baby but it just never occurred to us to take that precaution, even though we have seen stories of window switch safety in the news as it relates to small children.

The car did suffer some paint damage as the metal buckle on her harness scraped the car on her way down. We were in Dixon's car, which he takes great pride in and actually just had washed and shined the day before, so at the moment he is not a happy camper. He realizes it is not the dog's fault, nor either of us in particular, it was just one of those freak things that can happen in the blink of an eye. We shudder to think if she would have done that while we were traveling down the highway at a high rate of speed. The odd thing is that she loves to travel in the car and we made the trip from Wisconsin to British Columbia last fall, over a six day period, with no mishaps at all. Perhaps we were unknowingly lulled into a false sense of security with regard to pet travel in a vehicle. I know to NEVER let a cat loose in a car as they can get tangled underfoot which could result in failure to operate the brake or accelerator, but dogs and power windows? Who knew!!??

So I am passing this along as a lesson we learned that hopefully you or a friend or relative can learn by our misfortune.

And, at the end of the day, all is well and Sydney is snoozing in front of the patio door - she is genuinely pooped out.

And please remember to click on the link to the left to help shelters care for misplaced little critters.

Thanks for tuning in....


West End Bob said...

Thank goodness it was only paint scratches to be concerned about!

Glad everyone is OK, and thanks for the tip . . . .

rgblog said...

For those who can’t leave your pets behind here are some travel tips so visit your local pet supplies store:

• Make sure your pet's shots are up-to-date.
• Do not administer any medication or treatments without first discussing them with your veterinarian.
• Obtain documentation from your vet to show that your pet's vaccinations are current, and that your companion is healthy.
• If you are traveling to another country, check with that nation's embassy.
• Make sure your pets are wearing collars with current Identification tags.
• Pack any medications your pet may be taking.
• If you are traveling by automobile, think about the animal's safety as well as your own.
• Do not leave an animal unattended in a vehicle.
• Check with the Airline Carrier for specific requirements when traveling with your pet.
• Try to book a direct flight to your destination to eliminate additional stress by airline transfers.
• Call your hotel/motel ahead to confirm that pets are accepted and if any additional fees are required.

Good Dog Panda!!

Canada Calling said...

Abbey had a habit of opening the windows in the back seat so we always have the child protective locks on. Glad all is well!