Okay, I have to admit it. I am just as guilty as any other furry baby owner, in that I allow my pup to ride shotgun in the car. The experts claim this is a big ol no-no, and that actually we are not doing a service to our dogs, or ourselves. Three simple reasons explain it all—accidents, airbags, and the biggest reason distractions.
It pretty much goes without saying—accidents can and do happen each and every day. This is not to say that you will be involved in one, however, if you are, you may very well cause your pup to sustain a serious, if not a life-threatening injury. Even a quick trip to get a burger, or gallon milk, can turn deadly. Allowing your pup to chill out in the front seat, in the case of a collision, could result in your pup flying through the windshield, bouncing off the dashboard, or at the very least suffer a painful whiplash due to the sudden impact.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that children under the age of 13 years old should not be allowed to ride in the front seat, due to the fact that if the airbags go off, there could be severe damage sustained by the child. The American Veterinary Medical Association feel that those very same airbag risks exist for dogs as well. A dog that is allowed to sit in either the driver’s lap or in the passenger seat will undoubtedly be hurt, if not killed if an airbag were to deploy.
If your dog is like my Chigger, when they realize they are going somewhere, they get all excited and amped up. This excitement can lead to a whole host of problems. Such as allowing the dog to set in the front seat, and then they get sight of, say a squirrel, and become a significant distraction. Even smaller dogs can get spooked, and may try to seek cover right under your feet while you are driving.
The next time you take a short trip, think twice before asking your pooch to ride shotgun. By leaving your pup at home, you will undoubtedly elicit a lot of pouting, but in the long run, the decision is one that is much safer for you both.