Everyone has owned that dog that loves to hang their head out of the window during car rides. You have also probably seen people leaving their dogs in open truck beds. There are many reasons why these situations are not really appropriate conditions for your dog. While your dog probably loves feeling the wind on their face, it can be very dangerous to leave your windows down with your dog in the car. Dust and debris can get into your dogs eyes and ears, and even more dangerous your dog can jump out of the window. At any speed and no matter how small the window is cracked this can present a very real danger to your dog.
If possible you should either crate your dog while they are in the car, and if that is not possible then harness your dog in a safety harness.
Dogs should never be left unattended in the car. Don’t leave your dog in a hot car, or a cold car, either situation can be very dangerous to your dog. If you are taking your dog with you in the car, be prepared to take your dog with you when you leave the car. When the outside temperature is 78°F, a closed car will reach 90°F in 5 minutes, and 110°F in 25 minutes. Even a few minutes in a hot car can kill your dog or cause irreversible damage.
Lastly, not all dogs enjoy car rides. If your dog drools, shakes, or vomits in the car it can be a sign that they are having anxiety about the car ride. So don’t force your dog into the car when they are showing signs of car anxiety.
For more information about car safety and car anxiety contact a Certified Obedience Trainer.