A few weeks ago we saw Sammy & Sunny after they were in a car accident. They had been traveling with their owner in a small truck, when another vehicle ran into them and the car flipped. Sammy was thrown out of the vehicle and Sunny was thrown into the windshield. Both dogs arrived in pretty bad shape. Sunny was in shock and had a few cuts and a minor concussion. Sammy had broken his leg and had damaged his lungs. While both dogs and the owner were treated and eventually fully recovered, it reminded us how important it is to protect our pets while they are in the car. So here are a few tips:

The law requires that dogs in the open bed of trucks be tethered in such a way that they cannot jump out. I have seen several dogs jump out of trucks and be dragged by the tether, so be sure it is tight! Even a tethered dog is in grave danger if the truck were to roll over. It is far better to keep dogs inside the vehicle or inside of a crate that is secured to the bed of the truck. Inside vehicles, crates are the best way to go for both dogs and cats. It is best if the crate is secured so it cannot fly around inside the vehicle. Seat belts are made for dogs and may help secure them if there is an accident. Be very careful about leaving windows partially open while the vehicle is moving. I have seen dogs that have jumped out of vehicles through half open windows or by jumping onto the driver ™s lap and out their open window. This almost always causes severe injuries!

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be safe when you travel with your dogs and cats.

by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP