Truck dogs safety tips

Howard Baker - RN BSN

Hobo and Skylar on a joy ride.

Truck dogs: Fun or foe?

You might be surprised at the number of dogs that die from riding in the back of pickup trucks. Most have seen a dog or two riding in the back of a pickup truck on the roadways. Some dogs look as if they are having the time of their lives and others not so much. How safe is a dog riding in the back of a pickup truck? Let’s cover some safety precautions to protect your dog while riding in a car or truck.

I want my dog to go everywhere I go. Hobo logged over 50,000 miles last year in road travel. Keeping him safe and comfortable is a top priority for us. Keeping him properly restrained provides safety not only for him but also for occupants of the car. I don’t have to worry about him jumping from the vehicle when the door is opened. If there is a crash I do not have to worry about Hobo becoming a flying projectile or being separated from us. There are harness and crating systems on the market to keep your Fido comfortable and safe on your travels.

The American Humane Association estimates that 100,000 dogs die each year riding in truck beds. These statistics are astonishing to me. I have seen dogs riding along at interstate speeds with their heads hanging over the side. Rocks, bugs and flying debris can cause injury to your pet resulting in blindness and/or death. Unsecured, a dog can be thrown from the vehicle during lane changes or minor accidents. Improperly secured dogs are can be dragged behind the vehicle making it imperative to use proper restraints if transporting in an open truck bed. Any of these situations create an unsafe environment for the dogs but, also distractions for drivers trying to keep an eye on their dog. I advocate riding with your dog in the cab of the truck properly restrained in the vehicle. Many states are implementing laws for dog restraints to protect passengers.

Tips on keeping your dog safe:

1. Dogs should always ride in the truck cab properly restrained or crated.

2. Heat can build up fast inside an automobile even if windows are cracked—Never leave your dog unattended inside a vehicle.

3. Do not allow dogs to hang their heads outside of car windows.

4. Be sure your pets have proper identification in case of separation:

a. Microchip or tattoo.

b. Identification tags securely attached to collar.

I am guilty of allowing my dogs to stick their heads out of the car window, even though I consider this unsafe I only allow it while restrained and at speeds less than 20 mph. I encourage you to take your pups with you every chance you get and enjoy life — it’s always better with a dog.






Hobo uses one or more resources listed above. The listings should not be considered an endorsement of any product.

Hobo is a rescue dog out to make a difference in animal rescue and education. Please follow Hobo on Facebook at Hobo the Wonder Dog or contact him at: [email protected]

Hobo and Skylar on a joy ride. and Skylar on a joy ride.

Howard Baker


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