Sunday, February 15, 2009
Would you ride in a car with your head hanging out the Window????
Would you ride with your head hanging out of a car window? Eyes wide open, nose in the wind? Probably not. So why do people risk the health of their dogs? Oh yeah, because the dog likes it. Yeah, children also like to touch the shiny pot on the stove. You know the outcome of that scenario.
Dogs have the mental capacity of a two-year old child. They will always have the mental capacity of a two-year old, because they are dogs. Let me re-emphasize that, they are DOGS. They are not human children with the capacity to learn as they mature and gain the ability to reason and increase their mental capacity. They don't know about the dangers of hanging their heads out the window. Children don't know that the flickering yellow and red lights in the camp or grill are dangerous either and run right for it until some adult screams and scares them away from it and explains the what and why. You are the parent, or responsible adult. And that includes protecting your dogs from dangers that they have no experience with, or concept of.
Dogs are reactionary, and will jump out of a window to chase a squirrel or rabbit, they will jump after another dog. They cannot grab onto the edge of the window if you have to slam on the brakes, not to mention what happens if you are in an accident through no fault of your own.
Dogs also live in the moment. They don't learn like humans, unless they are consistently and repetitively are told "NO." And because they are reactionary, even that training can go "right out the window" along with the dog with the right (or wrong) stimulus.
I have never yet seen a dog with goggles on while hanging their heads out. The bugs and dirt can seriously injure their eyes. The stuff that flies around can be imbedded in their eyes especially at speeds greater than walking speeds. Do you drive at 2mph? No? Well, think about winds at 35 or 45 mph, driving dirt into your eyes. Ever been in a duststorm, or how about sand? Not so much fun, huh.
Does your dog wear a safety belt while riding? No? How silly of me. Ever been in a car accident, or seen the results of one? Things unrestrained fly around a car, and slam into windows, dashboards, and out of the car. What do you think will happen to your dog? Especially small lap dogs. Remember the circus where the man is shot out of a cannon? I don't recall there being a whole lot of big soft air cushions that are conveniently placed along the roads to catch flying bodies.
The sad fact is that we over-indulge our pets. We treat them like furry versions of humans and then jeopardize their health and lives by failing to protect them. It's okay to crack the window wide enough to let bigger dogs stick their noses out, but no more. Even their noses can be injured by flying debris. As for heads or more, (I've seen dogs leaning out the window with half their bodies), unless you want to kill them, don't do it. Let's face it, dogs are not smarter than humans.
Check out the article at: www.cartalk.com/content/features/fido/dog-safe.html#inthecar and this excellent personal account of an owner whose dog fell out of the car: http://dogs.thefuntimesguide.com/2007/06/dogs_in_cars.php
I'm sorry I have to put such scary images in your head, but being involved with animals as I am, it needs to be stressed that this is a responsibility you should take seriously.
For the sake of your dog, please, PLEASE don't risk their health & life because "they like it". "They" don't know any better. Crack the window a couple inches for fresh air and interesting smells for the dog, but keep them inside the car for you. Your dog deserves your best care and protection. I hope they are your best friends, and you treat them as treasures, just like your human best friends.
Have a great week!