AKC’s Urban Dog program teaches the skills a dog needs to live safely in a city — no matter how big or small.
One of Urban Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test items involves the dog riding safely in a car. To keep your dog safe in the car, follow these five basic tips.
- Secure the dogA crate is the safest place for a dog to be when riding in a car. You can also use a canine seatbelt. Owners of well-trained dogs will often allow them to ride unrestrained in a back seat. Whatever you do, don’t have a loose dog riding in the front seat of your car.
- Take a breakOn long car rides, both you and your dog will benefit from a break to stretch your legs, have some water, and visit the “bathroom.” Keeping your dog from being physically uncomfortable will increase the chances that she is calmer during the car ride.
- Keep an eye on the weatherIf the temperature is 80 degrees outside, the inside temperature of the car with the windows rolled up can exceed 100 degrees in 15 minutes. Cold weather can also be dangerous. In extreme temperatures, have a plan for not leaving your dog in the car, or leave your dog at home. Read more hot weather safety tips here.
- No head out the windowIt may look like a load of fun when dogs are cruising down the highway with their heads out of the car window, but this can result in ear and eye injuries. Don’t let your dog ride with his head out of the window.
- Identification for your dogIn case you are injured in an accident and can’t handle your dog (or the dog gets loose), make sure you have a form of identification on the dog and on the dog crate in the car. While traveling, your dog should wear a collar tag with identification. Microchips are important for dogs whether or not they are traveling. AKC Reunite provides a 24-hours a day, 365-days-a-year recovery service, learn more at www.akcreunite.org.