My daughter Liz has a small Sheltie puppy named Josie, who will only be about 25 lbs. when full grown. When Liz first started driving with Josie in the car, Josie wanted to sit on her lap. Liz realized that this would be a problem.
I decided to do a little research and found several interesting articles about how unrestrained dogs in vehicles are often hurt or killed, even in low speed accidents. Owners can also be hurt because dogs become a projectile in the car during an accident or fast stop. In a 2011 AAA survey, 23% of pet owners used their arms to restrain a dog while braking, and 17% admitted to holding their dog in their lap while driving. Unfortunately, if the airbag deploys in an accident while your dog is on your lap, this could seriously injure your pet.
Years ago, when a customer came in to have the air in her tires checked, I saw her two dogs in the back seat with harnesses and seat belts on. I hadn’t seen this before, but now realize her wisdom of safe travel methods for her and her pets. It’s kind of the same idea as car seats for children. Although I grew up without a car seat, I would have never considered having my children ride without some sort of safety restraining device.
There are many different products available to help protect you and your pet, including dog booster seats and harnesses. Liz decided on a booster seat with a harness attachment. Josie loves it, and Liz and Josie are both much safer.