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Car Safety Restraint

Car Safety Restraint

Restraining Your Chi During Travel is Important

Whether you are planning a long road trip or a short trip to the local pet store it is extremely important that your Chihuahua be properly restrained in the car. 

Many owners of small and large dogs simply let their dogs sit either on the floor or seat while travelling. 

Chi owners often have a passenger hold their pet on their laps during the ride.

All these options are unacceptable for a variety of reasons.  Should you be involved in a car accident, your beloved little one can become seriously injured by hitting the windshield or other parts of the interior of the car.  People are required by law to wear seatbelts to protect them from the same fate.  It only makes sense to protect our pets as well.

In addition to the injuries that your Chi may sustain there are other dangers in having your pet unrestrained in the car.  Dogs that are free to walk around the car often seek reassurance from you, the driver, and attempt to sit on your lap.  Having a dog on your lap while driving can be a fatal distraction.  In other cases the dogs have fallen off the owner’s laps and onto the brake or gas pedals posing an even greater danger.

Even if your Chi never attempts to sit with you while you are driving, it is still easy to be distracted by your pet when they are rummaging around in the back seat.  It is better to have them restrained in one location so that you know they are safe and sound and you can concentrate on driving.

If you are involved in an accident and your Chi is unrestrained they could escape into the road.  It would be a pity for your Chihuahua to survive the accident unharmed, only to run into the road in terror and be struck by another car.  In this case your Chi poses a threat not only to itself and you but to other motorists as well.  There are also many cases of rescue workers being hindered in their job by the presence of an unrestrained, angry dog loose in the car with an owner.

Types of Restraints

There are many different types of restraints available that will help keep your Chihuahua safe in the event of an accident.  It doesn’t matter whether you own a short or long haired Chihuahua as all these methods of restraint work on all breeds of dogs.

A dog crate or carrier is an ideal method of restraint.  For a little dog like a Chi a carrier is great because it doesn’t take up much room.  Trying to find room in your hatchback for a crate large enough for a Bull Mastiff is a challenge.  A Chi-sized crate takes up very little room and can be restrained in your car with a regular seatbelt.  Make sure to put the belt through the handle or openings in the crate, not just around the outside of the box.  In the case of an accident the crate may shift or move but will never become a projectile.

Harnesses are also available that work with your car’s seatbelt system.  Once your dog is wearing the harness it can be hooked with a seatbelt providing security for you and your pet.  It is important to buy the correct sized harness for you Chi.  If you buy one that is too big, or borrow one from a friend, it will not work properly or provide adequate protection.

Some owners choose to use a pet barrier which stops their pet from launching into the front of the car if they are involved in an accident.  While this does protect the driver and passenger it does little to protect your Chi from flying around the back of the car and being injured.  It also does nothing for the distraction factor of an unrestrained pet.

Protecting yourself and your family is extremely important when travelling by car.  Your Chi is a member of your family so make sure to take steps to protect him or her as well.  The next time you are out buying Chihuahua clothing or other Chihuahua gifts, stop by the pet store and pick up an appropriate restraint device.

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