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Pet Smart: Protecting Your Pet In The Car

Pet in the Car

When it comes to taking a drive with the "family", for most of us that means taking "Fido" along. But, according to recent research taking your doggie for a drive may be "dangerous".

According to studies, almost 60% of dog owner claim to have driven while distracted by their pets as passengers. In fact, according to the study a mere 17%, only about one in six implement animal restraints to prevent the pet from distracting the driver and to guard them and others in case of a crash.

Experts assert that in case of an accident, unrestrained pets can be problematic and can be an unintended threat to the driver and other passengers. They note that an unrestrained 10-pound pooch in a crash at 50 mph will exert 500 pounds of force on whatever it strikes. Likewise an 80-pound pup in a crash at 30 mph will exert nearly 2,400 pounds. 

In addition, experts are concerned because pets can also be a distraction by climbing onto the driver's lap and interfering with visibility, ability to steer, or crawling onto the foot pedals.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals call for pet owners to use restraints on dogs and cats to keep them from harm to themselves, the driver, and other passengers.

They also discourage owners from allowing pets to ride on the drivers lap as well as in the front passenger seat because of the potential injury that could occur from a deploying airbag. In fact, experts assert that pets owners should deal with and treat pets in the same manner that they would a small child.

Pet restraints encompass items such as harnesses, hard or soft-sided travel crates and vehicle seats.



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