For those of us who love to take our pooch with us everywhere we go, letting them ride shotgun in the car is a common occurrence. However, every year in Australia an estimated 5000 dogs are injured as a result of not being properly restrained in a vehicle during an accident, meaning that without taking the proper precautions, your dog could be in serious trouble! Continue reading to find out what you can do to ensure that your furry friend doesn’t become one of these statistics.

Buying the right restraint

Simulated studies have shown that an unrestrained pet can go flying through the windscreen of your car even at speeds as low as 20km/h. This means that even at your slowest driving speed, hitting the brakes suddenly or hitting the car in front of you can cause serious injury to your dog.

While there are a number of restraints on the market, it’s important to purchase one that is crash-tested at a realistic speed. Generally, 35km/h is considered the minimum crash test speed for a restraint to be reliable in an accident. While these options may cost slightly more than their cheaper counterparts, the tried and tested quality of the item ensures that your pooch will be much safer if you ever find yourself in an accident. Consider it an investment and get one that will give you peace of mind.

Restraining travel carriers

For furry friends who can’t handle being restrained by simply a seatbelt, a carrier may be a better option. However, it’s important to understand that these items aren’t secure on their own – you must also restrain them as well if they are to be effective. It’s imperative secure the carrier at all times, whether your pet is currently in it or not, as during a crash these items can fly through the air with great force. Place them restrained in the rear of the car or securely wrap the seatbelt around it in the backseat.

If your pet isn’t restrained, they shouldn’t be in the car…

While it can seem unlikely that we will get into accidents, you never know what might happen when you get into the car next. This is why it’s absolutely vital that you don’t allow your pet to ride with you unless they have the appropriate harness to keep them safe. Not only is this the responsible thing to do, but it is a legal requirement within Australia, so do the right thing by your fur baby at all times!