For many people, letting their dog ride in the back of a pick-up truck seems like a perfectly rational decision.
Not only does it protect the interior of the car from dirt, hair, and scratches, they reckon, but surely dogs prefer the open air to a cramped space and find it more “fun” to ride in the back.
But unfortunately, letting your pup ride in the back of your pick-up truck is actually putting their lives at risk.
According to American Humane, over 100,000 dogs die each year due to accidents involving riding on truck beds.
It’s a shocking statistic that shows that we need to stop normalizing putting our dogs in the back of trucks.
Dogs are easily hurt in accidents; they can be flung from the truck bed if the truck hits something, be crushed if the truck flips, and can be accidentaly strangled in many situations. Some dogs have even been hurt jumping from truck beds.
KHQA interviewed Steve Scherer from Quincy Animal Control who said: ”Most dogs are smart enough not to [jump] though, but I would worry about getting in an accident – the dog’s going to be a projectile then. I would also worry about a dog being tethered in the back of a truck because it could jump over the side of a bed and hang itself.”
But it’s not just car accidents or jumping that can harm your dog. The fact that the dog rides completely unprotected from the weather is also a serious cause for concern.
Bugs and harmful debris can fly into the dog’s face and can not only cause discomfort but serious injury.
Furthermore, the strong wind power the pup is exposed to can put a harmful strain on the dog’s lungs.
As for the “fun” the dog is allegedly having: may dogs actually feel scared and stressed by the overwhelming noise and strong winds.
American Humane has provided ha helpful article on how to safely transport your pets.
In the article, they also point out that you should not leave your dog in the back of a pick-up truck even if the truck is parked and the dog is on a leash because the pup is still at risk of strangulation and exposed to possibly harmful weather conditions. For example, dogs can suffer from burned paws and heatstroke if the sun is hitting the back of the truck.
Since we love our sweet pups and care about their well-being, it’s time that we recognize the unnecessary risk that letting our dogs ride on truck beds pose.
It’s time to stop normalizing this mode of transportation for our dogs and keep our furry family members where they belong: inside the car with us or (even better) at home.
Just remember to always properly secure and restrain your pups when travelling with them and never leave them alone in a vehicle.
Our pups trust us with their lives, so we better do our very best to protect them.