C'mon Boy! Get in the car! Let's go! The family dog bounces happily to the open car door, rushing to catch up with the kids. He looks at his family all the kids grinning ear to ear... "Yippie! Where will it be this time?... The park? The beach? Grandma's house? Oh, gosh... I hope we're going to that trail I love by the woods... Oh, I can't wait to get there!" Mom carefully buckles the baby in her carseat and the snapping of seatbelts fills the air as Dad puts the key in the ignition. "Is everybody buckled up?"
The dog smiles and climbs over the kids' laps to the front seat, searching for an open window to hang his tongue out of when BANG! His nose slams into the glass and he glances back at the kids puzzled. They laugh at him and he sheeplishly wags his tail. "Hey, get the dog's tail outta my face." "Don't shove him over here - I'm squished!" "Mom - tell her to keep the dog on HER side!" Do many of your short trips start out this way? The kids are buckled up, the baby's in her carseat, and you're ready to go. But wait - you've forgotten about one very important passenger - your dog! Why allow your pet to wander around the moving car, unrestrained when you've carefully made sure everyone else is safely buckled up? Not only can your pet be injured if you're forced to stop quickly, but he may also be a nuisance and a distraction to the driver and the passengers.
There are several ways your pet can safely be taken with you on your trip. No matter what type of vehicle you're driving, there is always a safe way of transporting your dog. First of all, the best area of the vehicle for your pet is generally the back seat. When the dog is safely in the rear of the vehicle, he cannot distract the driver.
In addition to location, there are also several types of restraint systems available for your pet. The most common of these systems is the dog carrier, or airline kennel. This form of restraint essentially involves caging the dog. While this method is effective, there are always those particularly hot afternoons when your pet would be more comfortable out of a carrier. In these cases you may prefer to use actual dog seatbelts. These may be found in many pet stores or ordered through some veterinarians. The belts can be directly attached to the regular seatbelt buckles in your car, and are made of nylon or canvas. There are different models to choose from, and some of the more elaborate ones even resemble child safety seats!
It is proven that seatbelts save human lives. Why not take the same precautions with your pet?!
(Vince DeMattia is a former Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety staff reporter and former Las Vegas Jazz radio announcer.)
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