We all appreciate a beautiful, warm, sunny day and fresh spring breezes. But the moment is ruined for me, when a car speeds by with a dog’s head hanging out the window – jowls and ears flapping. So unsafe. So irresponsible.
The risks to the dog’s health are usually minor with most concern to irritation of the eyes – conjunctivitis and corneal abrasions. But, the consequences can be tragic. I lost a patient who fell out the open car window and dragged to death on the end of his leash. I knew a handsome yellow lab, who enjoyed riding in the open bed of his dad’s truck. For some reason he chose to jump out while the truck was in motion, suffering fatal injuries.
My suggestions for safe warm weather car rides:
· Open the window an inch – just enough to let your dog put his nose to the breeze and catch all the exciting scents blowing by.
· Dog goggles and a secure seat belt harness for convertible passengers.
· Small dogs should travel in a crate securely fastened to the seat.
· Dogs should never ride loose in an open pickup bed.
I wish my patients all a happy, healthy and safe spring!