Is it safe to let my dog ride in the back of my truck? I see a lot of people with dogs in the back of a truck and it makes me nervous. What do you think?
Tailgating in Timbergrove
Most dogs love to ride in a vehicle–their nose out the window, ears flopping in the wind. It seems as though a ride in the back of a truck would be every dog’s dream come true, but in reality, it can turn into a real nightmare for both you and your dog.
For starters, dogs can’t “hold on” the way humans can, and any sudden start, stop, or turn can toss your pet onto the highway. If the impact of hitting the road at a high speed doesn’t kill him, oncoming traffic probably will. It is estimated that at least 100,000 dogs die this way each year.
There are other hazards to consider. Most dogs love the feeling of wind blowing past their ears at 60 mph, but that wind can seriously irritate mucous membranes and blow pieces of grit into the animal’s eye. It may require veterinary attention to remove the foreign material, which could cause permanent damage to the eye. Insects or flying debris can also lodge in the nasal passages or get sucked up into the windpipe.
The weather conditions are also a consideration when choosing where your dog should ride. Obviously, cold weather conditions would make a ride in the back unbearable, but hot weather is of more concern here in Houston. Hot sun can heat the metal floor of a truck bed enough to burn a pet’s paw pads. And once the truck has stopped, a dog left sitting in the broiling sun without water or shade may suffer from heat stroke before long.
It is safest to allow your dog to ride inside the truck cab, or leave him at home. If he must ride in the back of the truck, put the pet inside a crate that will give him some protection from the wind and weather, and tie the crate securely to the walls of the truck bed, so it cannot slide about or be tossed out of the truck. Do not leash your pet inside the truck bed, as many a dog has been strangled when tossed or bumped over the side of the truck and been left helplessly dangling. Special harnesses are available to prevent this kind of horrific accident.
Ready to Adopt?
Friends For Life will be at The Dog House Pet Salon (5917 Richmond) on Saturday, October 28 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for their Howl-O-Ween Adoption Event. Come enjoy muffins and mimosas and meet some furry friends! Some of the goodies available that day are, a raffle for a doggie day care package; various pet vendors, including Pet Wants; free treats for dogs and a free bath spa treatment for anyone who adopts a pup! Go to www.adoptfriends4life.com to learn more.
Have a burning query for Tabby? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pet of the Week
Meet Shandy. Shandy is is a female Corgi/Basset Hound mix. She’s about 2 years old and is full grown at 25 pounds. She rules the roost in her foster home, playing with her larger foster brothers and charming her family. Shandy is crate trained and loves to play, eat and nap. She’s wonderful with all humans–even children! If you think that Shandy might be a good fit for your family, find out more by contacting K-9 Angels at: www.K-9AngelsRescue.org or www.facebook.com/k9angelsrescue.