The other day I saw an adult Yellow Lab, sprawled out on the dash area in an RV – right up against the windshield.
The RV was not parked. In fact, it was turning onto the entry ramp of Hwy 10, probably heading north for the July 4 weekend. All I could think of was what if that motor home was involved in an accident? What would happen to that unsuspecting Yellow Lab?
Should Your Dog Have A Window Seat?
How often do you see a dog hanging it’s head out the window of a moving car while perched on the driver’s lap? It’s illegal to drink alcohol while driving, to text while driving, and in some states it’s even illegal to talk on cell phones while driving – all too distracting and unsafe. Yet people think nothing of letting their dogs sit on their laps or shoulders while driving or, as in the case of the motor home I saw recently, snooze on the dash of a moving vehicle.
Is it really a good idea to put yourself in a position of having to deal with your dog while driving? What if he starts fidgeting or moving around? He could impair your ability to see traffic, cyclists, pedestrians; he could interfere with your steering wheel so you can’t turn a corner or swerve to avoid hitting something; he could hop down to the floor and get under your feet so you can’t press the any one of the pedals; and should you be in an accident that causes your air bag to deploy, he could be killed instantly. That’s a high price for your dog to pay for the luxury of hanging his head out the window.
Dog Crates and Dog Seat Belts
Allowing dogs to ride on your lap in a moving car simply is not sensible or safe. Instead, have your dog travel with you in his kennel (this also helps keep your vehicle clean from shedding, saliva smudges on the windows, “house training” accidents, or if your dog gets sick while in the car) or strapped in with a doggy seat belt. If neither of those options is possible, at the very minimum, teach your dog to ride in the back seat or compartment so he is much less of a distraction to you when you drive.
It’s illegal and unpractical to drive with a child on your lap. Why would the same common-sense thinking not apply to your dog?