Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dogs in Trucks

Recently, in Vermilion, Ohio, a yellow Lab named Lily was stolen from the back of a pickup truck. Fortunately, the dog was returned to her family. To watch the video news report, click here.

It is NOT SAFE for a dog to travel in the back of a pickup truck!

From the American Humane Association...

DON’T let your dog travel unsecured in an open pickup truck bed. Dogs can’t “hold on” the way humans can, and any sudden start, stop or turn can toss your pet onto the highway. If the impact of hitting the road at a high speed doesn’t kill him, oncoming traffic probably will. It is estimated that at least 100,000 dogs die this way each year.

There are other hazards to consider. Most dogs love the feeling of wind blowing past their ears at 60mph, but that wind can seriously irritate mucous membranes and blow pieces of grit into the animal’s eyes. It may require veterinary attention to remove the foreign material, which could cause permanent damage to the eye. Insects or flying debris can also lodge in the nasal passages or get sucked up into the windpipe.

Open truck beds provide no protection from the weather. Rain, snow and freezing temperatures are obvious problems, but even warm days have their dangers. Hot sun can heat the metal floor of a truck bed enough to burn a pet’s paw pads. And once the truck has stopped, a dog left sitting in the broiling sun without water or shade may suffer from heat stroke before long. It is safest to allow your dog to ride inside the truck cab, or leave him at home.

If he must ride in the back of the truck, put the pet inside a crate that will give him some protection from the wind and weather, and tie the crate securely to the walls of the truck bed, so it cannot slide about or be tossed out of the truck.

Do not leash your pet inside the truck bed, as many a dog has been strangled when tossed or bumped over the side of the truck and been left helplessly dangling. Special harnesses are available to prevent this kind of horrific accident.

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