by Doris Donnerman
(last updated February 17, 2009)
It's not uncommon to see trucks driving down the freeway with a dog standing in the back of the truck or sitting in the bed of the truck, and you may wonder whether or not that's okay or safe. While it isn't uncommon and you see people do it all the time, you do need to be careful and watch out for safety hazards. If you want to take your pet out riding in the bed of your truck, then there are a few things you'll need to be aware of before you do so.
First things first: driving with your pets in the bed of the truck is dangerous, really dangerous. There are multiple hazards associated with toting your pets in the back of a pickup truck. Because driving itself is dangerous, you need to remember that you can never be sure when you'll have to brake suddenly, or when an accident will happen. If your pet is in the bed of the truck, then sudden stops, jerks, or bolts, could easily injure your pet by ramming it into the side of the bed of the truck, forcing other things in the bed to smash into your pet, or even throw your pet out of the truck completely.
If you want to travel with your pet, then you should ride with your pet up in the cab with you. This is the best idea because it's the safest; having your pet ride in cab with you is just as safe as having it ride with you in any vehicle. If, however, you have other people riding with you, that could pose another problem or two for your pet. There might not be room in the cab for your pet and your passengers, and there are a couple of things to keep in mind in this kind of situation. The best thing to do in this circumstance is to just not take your pet in the first place. If it can't fit in a safe place within the truck, then it shouldn't come along at all.
If there are multiple cars going on the outing, then you can always have your pet ride with someone else. One thing you could consider that is still not nearly as safe as having your pet ride in the cab, is putting your pet in a crate in the bed of the truck. Again, this is definitely not the safest alternative, and if you go with this option, then you need to secure the crate in the back with either other boxes that are in the bed, with bungee cords, or something else of the like.
Whatever you do, your first priority needs to be keeping your pet safe, and having it just hang out in the bed of the truck while you're driving is not safe at all, and should never be done. Carefully consider the situation, and never do anything that could put your pet in serious danger.
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