A recent news story reported about a young dog on a rope being dragged along the freeway from a pickup truck while a woman and her son watched from their own car in horror. The dog, named Freeway, was treated for severe injuries and will be released to the humane society for adoption. This story highlights the importance of securing your dog properly when traveling in the back of pickup trucks.
It is a common sight to see dogs traveling unrestrained in the back of pickup trucks. While many times the dog appears to be having a great time in back, an unrestrained dog can be thrown from the pickup bed should the driver hit a bump, have to swerve or brake suddenly, or become involved in a collision. Also, dogs may jump from a moving car upon spotting another dog, a squirrel or some other irresistible sight. While allowing your dog to ride unrestrained in the back of a pickup is not illegal except in a few states, this practice is also very dangerous to other drivers who may have to swerve to avoid hitting a dog thrown from the back. Every year, countless dogs are injured or killed because they were not restrained while riding in the back of a pickup.
There are other alternatives to drivers of pickup trucks. If possible, allow your dog to ride inside the vehicle with you. For safety, your dog should still be restrained inside the cab with a carrier or crate, dog car seat, or pet barrier. If your dog must ride in the truck bed, consider a truck topper to keep your dog safely confined and protected from wind and road debris. The next safest option is to place your dog in a sturdy crate which you tie securely to your truck bed. There are also special cross-tether restraints with short leashes that keep your dog inside the truck bed and eliminate the risk of choking.
Remember, road safety is important for you and your dog and you’ll both enjoy the trip if your dog travels safely.