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In the event of a car accident, could your friendly, cuddly, mutt actually become a threat to your safety, the safety of other road users, or even a threat to your life? If you regularly take your dog out in your car, for instance, when going to the park, the vets, or to visit friends, and you do not keep her in a car dog crate then you could be putting yourself, your passengers, and other road users seriously at risk.

Imagine, this worst-case scenario. Your cute little poodle is sitting quiet happily on the back seat of your car as she always does. You are driving along at 60 mph and suddenly, probably through no fault of your own, you are involved in a full-frontal collision…

In an instance all the protection that the manufacturer installed into your car at the production line kicks in. The bonnet starts to crumple, softening the impact. The air bags inflate, protecting your head from hitting the steering wheel. The seat belt you put on every time you drive pulls you back into your seat preventing your head from crashing though the wind shield. Miraculously, you survive the initial impact of the accident. However, what do you think will happen to your dog?

Research shows that any dog not properly secured in a car dog crate will be thrown forwards during a full frontal collision with a force equivalent to 25 to 30 times its actual weight. Imagine, your cute little 10 lbs poodle is now flying through the air like a small missile. And when she hits something, it will be with a force equivalent to an animal that weighs at least 250 lbs.

If the next thing your dog hits is you, or the passenger in your car, then that is like having a small adult bear landing on your head. What damage do you think such an impact might do? It is very likely that your dog will cause you still more injuries, adding to those you got from the initial impact. It may even result in your death.

Now consider what happens immediately after the accident. You might be injured, confused, even unconscious. The emergency services are alerted and quickly on the scene. A medic moves towards the crash site to treat your injuries. However, your dog, normally such a passive and friendly animal, is also hurt and in shock. She has become very aggressive and defensive of you. The medic is unable to get close enough in order to administer the medication you badly need. Vital minutes are lost whilst the police try to contain your dog when the medic should be treating your injuries.

Another possibility is that your dog is thrown clear of the car. Injured and confused, she runs away from the scene. Running up the highway, she causes another accident when a motorist swerves to avoid her. Then, once the emergency services arrive, your dog is nowhere to be found. Not knowing where to look, she is left at the scene to fend for herself.

It doesn’t matter how good or safe a driver you think you are. Every driver can become involved in an accident at some time. Whenever you take your dog out in the car, make sure they and you are safe. Always put your dog into a car dog crate and ensure the crate is secure.