Dogs In Truck Beds
PSA: Keep Dogs Out Of Truck Beds - 100,000 Die Annually
Putting your pets in the truck bed is almost always a bad idea - even when they're strapped in.
Dogs riding along with their owner in a truck bed is something you often see. While it may sound like a good idea to transport your dog for shorter distances, putting our four-footers in truck beds is a huge mistake.
American Humane is now reporting that more than 100,000 pets, mostly dogs, die each year because they’re not safely secured in a truck bed.
Pets are extremely vulnerable in the bed of a truck, especially because there’s no real reliable method to strap them down and secure them to the truck. In other words, keep your pets inside of the vehicle at all costs.
Aside from human accidents, sometimes canines also have the urge to jump out of the truck bed, with disastrous or fatal injuries as a result.
“The dog could see something and jump,” representative Steve Scherer from Quincy Animal Control told KHQA. “Most dogs are smart enough not to, 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.”
Having your pets in the back of the truck can also be dangerous for reasons you wouldn’t expect at first, such as the force of wind at higher speeds.
The wind can put so much pressure on a pup’s lungs resulting in breathing issues. And at these higher speeds, there’s a high likelihood of something hitting the dog in the eyes, ears or nose such as bugs or small pebbles.
If you have a loyal four-footer, you probably already know that they love to soak in the smells around them and often stick their heads out of a moving car. That’s alright if they’re firmly strapped in inside of the van, but it’s a huge risk out in the open.
Another important factor is the weather. Even though the air will feel fresh and cool down, an extremely hot summer day will still heat the metal of the truck bed, often resulting in burns or even a heat stroke.
Leashing your pet in the truck bed often isn’t an option either.
There have been many reports of first responders and veterinarians of pets that were strangled by their leash in the truck bed. When the car is tossed in a crash or an accident, pets are completely helpless.
And if there’s absolutely no other option and you have to transport your dog in the truck bed, make sure it’s protected against all possible circumstances. It’s ideal to put the four-footer inside of a crate or cage, so it won’t have to deal with the wind or extreme weather situations. A leash or safety harness on its own is not secure enough and won’t protect against wind or weather.
The other important thing to keep in mind is to secure the cage very tightly to one of the walls. Make sure it can’t slide anywhere in case you have to make a sharp turn or need to brake unexpectedly.
What does the law say?
There isn’t a national law that prohibits people from transporting dogs or other pets in a truck bed, but there are five states where the situation is addressed or where it’s illegal. The states of Connecticut, New Hampshire, California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have such specific laws in place.
In short, it’s illegal in these areas to transport pets in truck beds unless the animals are completely secured in a cage and cross-tethered so pets can’t fall out of the truck while driving. If you’re caught, you’ll have to pay fines up to $50, and they can even increase to $200 if it’s a repeated offense.
In any case – don’t transport your dogs loosely in the back of the truck, keep it safe!