By Susan Roberts
Do you have a dog, does the dog travel in the car, and does your car have a properly fitting dog guard or dog bars?
Isn’t it cute when you see a car travelling along on a hot sunny day with the windows down and a dogs head poking out from the window? Dogs look to be having great pleasure from forcing their faces into the stream of oncoming air rushing by the car.
Some pet owners think that it is ‘unfair’ to put their dog in the back of the car because there aren’t any comfy seats or because the dog whimpers as it is travelling. However, not containing your pet in a vehicle could prove to be fatal for you and your dog.
A properly fitted dog guard works to protect the occupants of the car in two ways. Whilst the dog is restrained in the hatchback part of the car, the dog is not roaming around the car blocking the drivers view or distracting the driver’s attention. As you can probably imagine a small dog could quite easily jump onto the driver’s knee whilst the car is in motion. A larger breed of dog could jolt the drivers elbow and consequently cause an accident. Larger dogs also very easily impair the driver’s field of vision.
Dog guards are also effective at saving life in the event of a road traffic accident. A loose dog sitting on the back seat can be very mobile in a car collision. The dog can fly forward and smash through the windscreen in a similar way to a person if they are not wearing their seat belt. This of course could be fatal for the dog.
As the dog is flung forward, the animal can clatter into the headrests of the front seats, and can kill the two passengers that are sitting there.
Some pet owners think that they can get around this by teaching the dog to wear a conventional seat belt. This may prevent the dog from being flung forward and injuring the passengers in the front seats, however the seat belt can cause internal damage to the dog.
A dog is much more likely to survive a car crash if it properly restrained in the hatchback part of the car, penned in by a properly fitting dog guard. This is because during a crash the dog will be flung into the guard, and although this might bruise the dog and might even break some bones, but the dog in most cases would recover.
Getting the correct dog guard for your make and model of car is very important to ensure that the safety bars perform during an accident or collision. An ill-fitting dog guard could be as dangerous as the car not having this safety feature fitted at all. Most of the manufacturers offer a range of accessories for their cars including fully-fitted dog bars to suit your model of car perfectly. Talk to your car dealer for details about the type of dog guard your car requires, they will also be happy to show you how to fit the bars correctly into your car.