We’ve seen it before: dogs riding in the beds of pickup trucks, sometimes on bumpy back roads and sometimes on highways and interstates. Some of you (including yours truly) have undoubtedly wondered about the safety associated with pooches riding in truck beds — and the outcome isn’t favorable for our four-legged friends, as it’s estimated that 100,000 dogs die each year because of the practice.
That’s why Ford and the American Humane Association have teamed up for a new pet safety campaign that aims to remind pickup truck drivers that dogs should never ride in the bed of a pickup truck. Called “Dogs Ride Inside,” the effort aims to remind all drivers about simple, basic actions that can prevent serious injury or death while transporting a beloved family pet.
“It is estimated that 100,000 dogs die each year riding in truck beds” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association, the country’s first national humane organization. “Unfortunately, we have all seen dogs riding in the bed of a pickup truck, which is an extremely dangerous way to transport your pet.”
“As America’s truck leader, this is an issue that’s close to the heart for us,” said Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager Doug Scott. “We’re not asking that people go to onerous lengths while driving with pets, but even the smallest steps can make a difference in keeping all passengers in our vehicles safe.”
The American Humane Association and Ford recommend the following:
- All animals should ride inside a pickup truck cab – never in the bed of a truck.
- At the very minimum, your pet should always ride in the back seat if your truck has one. An animal in the front seat can quickly become a driver distraction and cause an accident, jeopardizing the pet and everyone else in the vehicle. The highest volume F-Series trucks – the F-150 SuperCrew and Super Duty Crew Cab both have spacious second-row seats ideal for man’s best friend. Better yet is to restrain, contain or crate your pet with a pet carrier or specially designed pet seatbelt.
- Dogs love sticking their heads outside of a moving car, but that’s also one of the easiest ways for a pet to be injured, whether it’s from a flying rock or even falling out of the vehicle. It’s OK to briefly roll the window down to satisfy a curious nose, but not more than that. Wind can seriously irritate mucous membranes and blow pieces of grit into their eyes.
- Just in case you and your pet become separated, be sure that all ID tags are properly affixed to your pet’s collar and that they have your current contact information, including cell number(s). Your pet should also have an ID microchip implanted – and make sure the microchip registration and pet license information is up-to-date. Consider including the name and phone number of an emergency contact.
- Never leave pets unattended inside of vehicles. Remember that cars heat up fast – even with the windows cracked.
The Motrolix Take
Here’s to eliminating the practice of carrying dogs in truck beds, and to increasing safety for pets in cars.