Pets and Pickup Truck Safety

We’ve all seen it. A handsome dog in the bed of a truck, paws on the side, wind blowing in his face, nose to the sky. He looks like he is having the time of his life. This may seem like a great fun, but what if that truck has to stop short? Is this really safe? The Humane Society estimates 100,000 dogs are killed each year in accidents involving pickup trucks.

If a dog is riding in the bed of a truck that swerves to avoid an obstacle, hits a pothole, or stops fast, the dog can go flying out of the bed. The fall itself may not kill or injure the dog, but another car may. In addition, a dog falling out of the bed of a pickup truck poses a risk to other drivers who will have to swerve to avoid hitting it.

There are other risks associated with letting your dog ride in the back of an open truck. Flying debris can cause an injury. Gravel and dust can get into a dog’s ears nose and eyes. An excited dog could jump out to chase a squirrel or another dog.
It may seem safer to leash or tie your dog to the bed of the truck but that may pose an even greater risk. Dogs tied to the back of a truck have been dragged, or strangled by their own leash when they fell or jumped out of the truck.

If you absolutely have to let your dog ride in the bed of your pickup truck, keep him in a travel kennel. The travel kennel should securely fasten to the bed of the truck. You can find these in large pet stores including Petco and Pet Supermarket. Remember, even if your pet is secured in a travel kennel, he is still exposed to the elements. Take care to keep his exposure to heat and cold to a minimum.

Fido would like the wind in his face, but the safest place for your dog is in the cab of the truck with you.