Majority of dog owners do not have any kind of safety restraint system in their car for their pet. So often we grab our pup and jump in the car without even a second thought that they should be buckled in too. But, what about Fido? We love our pets like children, why not give them the same treatment?
I recently reached out to the Reddit community asking for stories and experiences about dogs involved in car accidents. I will be writing a series of posts (#whataboutfido) highlighting the responses and the importance of dog safety in the car.
*Please note all names used in this article are fictitious for anonymity
I spoke with a Reddit user who stated that she (Donna) had been in an accident with her dog (George). George is a 12-pound terrier mix. He is a rambunctious 3-year-old who loves to play fetch and go to the dog park. Donna brings George in the car with her often. She said, “probably two to three times a week”. George decently behaves in the car, so she saw no need to restrain him. He always sits in the passenger seat and will occasionally jump up to look out the window.
On this day, Donna was driving to the Post Office and decided to bring George. As usual, he jumped in the passenger seat and off they went. Donna was driving along when a car unexpectedly merged into her lane, she tried to stop to avoid the car but it all happened so fast. (as accidents do!) She was hit by the car merging in her lane as well as the car behind her when she stopped fast and hard.
Donna was traveling at 35mph which does not seem terribly fast, but it is when there are unrestrained objects in the car. The car may stop fast but everything in the car will continue to travel at 35mph until something stops it. That meant George went flying from the front seat into the dashboard and approximately 35mph. George hit the dash with 420-pounds of force.
George lay bruised and wounded under the dashboard after the car had stopped. Donna was fine just shaken up, so she ran to George’s aid. She did not want to move him too much because she wasn’t sure what injuries he sustained. She took him to the vet as soon as she could.
He had two broken ribs, a bruised liver, and other surface bruising. The vet said George was lucky that those were his only injuries. Donna was thankful that George was going to be okay but devasted that he had to go through this. She felt terrible that she had not taken precautions before this happened to ensure his safety in the event of an accident.
Since then George is always restrained in a dog car seat she purchased. She makes sure he is safe and comfortable in the backseat before she goes anywhere.
She tells her story often as there are many people she encounters who do not realize the dangers of an unrestrained pet in the car.
Car accidents are just that, accidents. They are unexpected and unplanned, but you don’t need to be unprepared. When it comes to dog safety, it is better to be safe than sorry.
A dog car seat is a one-time purchase that has so much more meaning than just a cute dog accessory. It can be a life-saving product for your beloved pet.
I will be posting these stories weekly! Our mission with this campaign is to raise awareness about dog safety in the car. Although, this topic may be unpleasant to think about it is important. Please share this story with others using the hashtag #whataboutfido and let’s get the word out to keep Fido safe!
Would you like to be part of the #whataboutfido campaign? Do you have a story to share that and could help save lives? I would love to connect with you and feature you in an article! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.