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Traveling With Your Pet and The Effect on Others
People travel with their canine friends for many reasons, sometimes for business and sometimes pleasure. Like everything else, dog hauling has its pros and cons. No one disputes the fact that for whatever the reason, it is an individual’s choice whether or not to haul their dog. However, it becomes a concern when it affects others and their pets.
We’ve all heard the stories about dogs that fall out of the bed of pickup trucks driving down the highway or are flung out by sudden stops. We don’t, however, hear much about the dogs harmed because they chase vehicles containing barking dogs.
Poochie was a small poodle who darted out of his fenced enclosure when a neighbor stopped to give his family’s children a ride to school. He had never chased vehicles before, but the neighbor brought her dog along, riding loose in the back of her pickup. Poochie followed her vehicle, barking excitedly and running along until he got caught up in the wheels and met his demise.
A man living in a rural area commented on how there were too many dogs loose in the community and they all seemed to chase cars. What he didn’t realize was his part in causing the problem. On a daily basis, one would see him driving the road with 2 or 3 dogs riding loose on the flat bed of his farm truck. His dogs were continually barking at the others as they passed by. He drove slowly enough for the dogs on the ground to keep up by running. Odie was an old dog and he lost his life on a day when the equation changed with a trailer being pulled behind the farm truck with dogs.
One man became angry when his new car was scratched by a large dog rearing up onto his vehicle in an attempt to get to the small yapping dog in his vehicle. The incident occurred when he stopped at the home of an acquaintance who owned the large dog. Opinions differed as to whom was at fault, but like the homeowner said, “This is my dog’s home. Of course he is going to get excited when another dog enters his territory. You shouldn’t take your dog onto other people’s property if you don’t know how their dog will react.”
Regardless of who is legally at fault, whether a dog is running loose in an area with leash laws, etc., any person hauling a dog should be responsible and mindful of the havoc a pet can wreak. That includes keeping the safety of the driver and the riding dog in mind, as well as any pedestrians or dogs on the ground.
Free range inside your vehicle or on the bed of your pickup is not a good idea, whether you haul your dog for business or solely for pleasure. There are many options available in today’s market to keep pets and people safe – everything from automotive restraints and dog hauling trailers to businesses who haul dogs as a service to the public. While the following options may appear to be geared solely toward driver and riding dog, simply having control of your animal will cut down on unwanted interaction with pedestrians or dogs on the ground.
Often used by hunters or those who haul racing dogs, dog hauling trailers are available. Dog boxes or crates are available in any size for safe hauling. Harness is available. It can be clipped to a seat belt as well as used with pole restraints that are made for dogs riding in open vehicles. The harness will clip (by attachment) to an O ring in the center of the pole restraint strap which keeps the dog in the middle of the vehicle. This provides safety from the dog falling out, as well as keeps the animal away from the edges of the vehicle in case a pedestrian walks close enough to the vehicle that the dog feels it has to defend its territory.
Consider safety first when dog hauling. Make traveling with your pet manageable and pleasurable, without enroaching on the safety of other persons or dogs.