Most dogs love to go with us when we run errands, go on road trips, and other travel opportunities. Dogs and the open road go hand in hand, but there are a few habits that may not be so compatible. Letting your dog ride in the truck bed or stick their head out of the window seems pretty normal, but this activity can put your pet in grave danger.

Riding in the back of the truck poses the risk of accident and injury, and even worse, death. Even if your pet is inside the car, but leans out of a window, this can also spell disaster. To explain, Shiloh Veterinary Hospital is here with the reasons why pet owners should reconsider.

A Risky Ride

Many pet owners think that dogs love having the wind in the fur as they smell the world around them, so naturally the truck bed is just fine. Unfortunately, a dog can still be their curious canine self without this rite of passage. The same is true for sticking their head out of the car window. 

But why are these dangerous activities? For a few reasons.

  1. They can fall out. This is the most obvious. Dog owners mistakenly think their pups are sure-footed, but that’s not so true. Falling from a truck bed is not uncommon in both pets and even humans. There is a reason why it is discouraged to sit on the rail of a truck bed or to allow children in the back of the truck. Your dog may get too close to the side of the truck or you may come to a sudden stop, which can throw them out. Auto accidents do happen often, so by being in the back your dog has no defense against being thrown out.
  2. They can jump out and become lost. It’s not so surprising that a dog will go after whatever it is they happen to see outdoors. Birds, deer, squirrels, other animals, and all other interesting things, what’s a canine to do? Of course, they will be tempted to jump out and go after something curious to them. If they get out, they can wander off and become permanently lost or injured.
  3. Eye and nose injuries. Wind carries dust, insects, trash, and other road debris and can harm your pet’s eyes or nose. Ingesting insects can be painful, as well dust, pollen, and mold that cause seasonal allergies. Debris in the eye can cause corneal damage and other eye problems. Your fur pal can also be hit by any number of things, including trash that is picked up under the tires and thrown. This is also the case when your dog sticks their head out of the window. 

Safer Ways to Travel with Your Dog

Your dog can still enjoy some road trip time with you when you exercise some precautions. 

  • Restrain your pet by using a crate, carrier, or harness and seatbelt when they ride inside the car. If you must keep them in a truck bed, put them in a crate that is secured by straps, so the crate doesn’t move around. 
  • Take your pet out often for rest stops and potty breaks. This will also give them a chance to stretch and sniff around.
  • Bring along options for entertainment and enrichment, such as a Kong toy, Nylabone, or stuffed animal.
  • Make sure their ride is comfortable by using blankets, a bed, and anything else that is snuggly.
  • Keep the temperature set so that it is comfortable for your pup.
  • Never leave your pet alone in the car for any moment of time.

Questions About the Risks of Letting Your Dog Ride in the Truck Bed

If you have any additional questions about why you shouldn’t let your dog ride in the truck bed or stick their head out of the car window, please call us. We are always here to answer any of your pet related questions, and we look forward to seeing you and your wonderful pet at their next wellness checkup.