In a crash a pet that is not restrained in your vehicle could be seriously injured or could even injure people in the vehicle. A vehicle travelling at 30mph with, for example an unrestrained 22kg border collie, on impact would be thrown forward with a force of almost nine x 12 stone men.
Unrestrained pets can also be a distraction in the vehicle and cause an accident. Following a crash if your pet is able to escape from the vehicle then they could either attack a stranger or be hit by another vehicle.
To be safe rather than sorry it is advisable that you make sure your pet is safely secured in the vehicle with either a seatbelt harness, a pet carrier, a dog cage, or behind a dog guard.
For large or medium sized dogs a safety harness that attaches to the seatbelt is the best solution. It should go around your dog's chest, back and shoulders and be attached to the seatbelt, which should be fastened. Before purchasing a harness please make sure that it is designed for car use and check that it is suitable for the size and weight of dog that you own.
For smaller dogs a pet carrier is a good option. It must be the correct size and should be held in place by the seatbelt, or wedged in the footwell. You should never place the carrier unsecured in the boot of your car as the carrier could be thrown around the boot whilst driving. You should never place the carrier in the boot of a saloon car as the dog could suffocate.
Travel Crate or Cage
You must make sure that the crate is the correct size for your dog. Leave plenty of space around the crate to allow for ventilation, and ensure that you secure it with the seatbelt. In a hatchback or estate car (but not a saloon) the crate can be attached to the anchorage points in the boot.
A dog guard will keep your dog away from the driver but it will not protect the animal in a crash. For some vehicles accessory kits are available to help build a dog cage.
Other Tips :
- Do not let your dog stick its head out of the window because dirt and insects can get into its eyes and nose.
- If your vehicle has airbags please make sure that you dog will not be struck by the airbag if it goes off.
- Check that your pet is covered by insurance if it is hurt in a car accident.
Getting Your Pet In and Out of the Vehicle Safely
- Keep your dog on a lead and under control when it is getting in and out of the car.
- Ensure that you use the door on the pavement side.
- Do not let your dog jump through the window if it is open.
Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are parasites that can be found on your pets. They can cause illness and discomfort so it is important you know how to spot, prevent and treat these parasites. If your dog has fur loss, inflamed (reddened) skin or is scratching, biting or licking more than normal then your pet most probably has parasites.
These are small parasites that bite your pets and humans. The bites cause the skin to become inflamed and itchy. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms to cats and dogs. This can happen when your pet swallows fleas when you are grooming them. When treating your pet for fleas please remember that treatment is needed for the home also because flea eggs and larvae are found in places such as carpets, rugs and your pet beds/bedding.
These are blood-sucking parasites that attach themselves very firmly onto your pet. They grow in size over several days as they suck the blood from your pet. They then drop off your pet to complete their life cycle. Ticks are usually picked up when dogs walk through long grass. They can cause anaemia (a shortage of red blood cells) and can transmit a disease called Lyme disease. It is extremely important that you remove a tick very carefully. If ticks are not removed properly it can cause a skin reaction or an abscess. If in doubt take your pet to the vet who can remove the tick safely.
Preventative parasite treatments include sprays, injections, spot-on preparations and tablets. Please make sure you use the correct treament for the size of dog and parasite you are treating, the use of a wrong treatment can make your dog very poorly.
Well quite a few of my doggy walking friends tell me that when your dog rolls in fox pooh the secret to getting rid of the smell is to clean your dog with.....wait for it......tomato ketchup !!
Mmmmm its making me think of hot dogs.