We just got a new puppy from the shelter. We don’t really know what he is, but he looks kind of like a shepherd/golden mix. We like to take him everywhere so that he gets socialized. He’s really pretty well-behaved for a pup. The shelter said they thought he was 6 months old. Our question is about taking him in the car. He loves to go with us, and jumps right into the back of our SUV. Sometimes I worry about him bouncing around back there – does he need a seat belt or something to keep him strapped in?
Congratulations on your new addition and on adopting from the shelter – glad to see more evidence of the fact that shelters do indeed have puppies! You are right about getting him out and about and socialized as early as you can – the more experiences he has early in life the better he will be prepared to handle new ones as he gets older. As far as car rides – they are great, but YES, you should be using some type of restraint for your dog’s safety as well as your own. It always scares me to death when I see dogs riding in the back of open pick-up trucks. My biggest fear is they go over a bounce or pothole, or the dog sees a squirrel and out they bounce into the road…and then I run over them because I can’t stop! It truly is a nightmare I have…I stay far behind any truck I see with a dog in the back. Dogs sitting on your lap or hanging out the window are just as bad. They are distracting to you as a driver and truth be told, turn into projectiles in the event of an accident.
So, short answer, YES use a restraint. There are several options you have:
- Use a crate – there are many inexpensive options out there and are a very safe and secure way to keep your pet safe in the car.
- Use a special dog seat – if your dog is small enough.
- Use a seat belt extender that attaches to the existing car seat belts.
You can go to Amazon or Petco and see a ton of different options. The seat belt extender is probably the easiest – just be sure to buy one that will adapt as Bouncy gets older and bigger.
Also, it should be noted that it is the LAW in some states that a dog must be restrained – check your local regulations.
Readers – any particular brand or model of crate or restraint you use that you would recommend?
Best of luck with your new pup.
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