The BC SPCA is reminding drivers of the dangers of having pets in vehicles, both when leaving it parked and when travelling. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)

The BC SPCA is reminding drivers of the dangers of having pets in vehicles, both when leaving it parked and when travelling. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)

BC SPCA warns drivers about dangers of pets in vehicles, both when parked and travelling

Use harnesses, crates, and don’t let your dog stick its head out the window are all tips from SPCA

The BC SPCA and a crime prevention society are reminding drivers about the dangers of pets in vehicles.

And they’re not just speaking about how hazardous it can be to leave a pet inside a parked car in summer, but also when travelling.

Not only can unsecured pets cause a distraction for drivers, but in the event of a crash a loose animal can fly forward in a vehicle, causing injury to themselves and to others in the vehicle, said Michael Drewery, speed and city watch coordinator for Chilliwack Crime Prevention Society.

RELATED: Scary moment as dog falls from pickup near Chilliwack off-leash park

“Many people consider their pets as part of the family,” said Chloe MacBeth, manager of the BC SPCA in Chilliwack. “And as with any loved one who rides in your vehicle, we hope drivers will take steps to keep their dog or cat seated, secure and safe during every drive.”

The BC SPCA recommends always using some form of safety restraint whenever travelling with a pet, even for mild-mannered pets or when running a quick errand around town.

Pet harnesses/safety belts and secured, hard-shell crates are the best options when transporting animals, adds MacBeth.

Harnesses come in various sizes to fit your dog. Make sure the harness fits properly and is easy to put on. A rule of thumb is to leave an allowance for two fingers to fit between the harness and your pup for a comfortable fit. Dogs should be able to stand, sit, or lay down comfortably, without having to brace themselves while you’re turning, reversing or stopping.

If you’re using a crate, it must be secured by a seatbelt, cargo hooks, or placed by the rear seat to secure it in place. If unsecured, the crate can bounce around and even become a projectile. When you’re buying a crate for your dog, look for one that has been crash-tested.

For cats, the BC SPCA recommends “airline type” (not cardboard) cat travel carriers. A sturdier carrier will protect your cat from escaping and from injury in the event of a crash. Help your cat learn to love their carrier before your first trip by offering treats, food, and a familiar blanket inside and gradually encouraging them to hang out in the carrier.

The BC SPCA offers these safety tips for pets and vehicles:

• Use a safety device to protect your pet. Loose animals in the event of crash can become a projectile in the vehicle. Animals can also pose a safety risk for first responders, as a disoriented and injured animal may try to attack an attendant or even cause another crash by running into traffic

• Let your dog be the backseat driver. Pets are safest when secured in the back seat or cargo area

• Keep pets inside the vehicle while driving. While it’s tempting to let your dog hang his head out the window for the breeze, the sand and dust can get in their eyes and cause corneal ulcers. Disable your power windows to prevent your dog from accidentally opening a window, causing it to escape or have the window close on its neck

• Do not drive with your pet on your lap. This can prevent you from having full control of your vehicle. Your pet could also be seriously injured or killed by a deployed airbag in the event of a crash. Drivers can be ticketed for driving with ‘without due care and attention’

• Secure your pet if travelling in the back of a pick-up truck. It is illegal and dangerous to travel with an unsecured pet in the exterior of a truck. If you must transport your pet in the back of a truck, the safest method is in a secured crate in the centre of your truck box

• If you’re not in the car, your dog shouldn’t be either. Vehicles can quickly heat up in summer weather, and can endanger your pet’s health. Even a car parked in the shade with the windows cracked open can get hot enough to cause heatstroke or death of an animal

RELATED: VIDEO: Dog returned to owner after firefighters break window in hot weather at Cultus


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BCSPCAPetsSPCA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Last year’s flood season stretched from April through early July, as this picture of flooding at Cache Creek park on July 4, 2020 shows. With area snowpacks at slightly above normal, temperatures and rainfall will play a role in determining what this year’s flood season looks like. (Photo credit: Tom Moe)
Snowpacks in area slightly higher than normal as freshet starts

Temperatures and rainfall are critical flood risk factors in coming weeks

The Clinton Annual Ball went ahead in 2020, albeit in a different format and with far fewer guests than usual. (Photo credit: Clinton Annual Ball committee)
Clinton Annual Ball postponed again in 2021, but still carries on

Thanks to some creativity, ball is still the longest continually-held event of its kind in Canada

The 2020 financial statements for Cache Creek show that the village needs to look at either increasing revenues or cutting services in order to maintain a balanced budget. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Cache Creek council advised to increase revenues or cut services

Presentation also shows that continued use of Landfill Legacy Fund for operations is unsustainable

A group of outdoor enthusiasts and heritage buffs learning more about the history of the iconic 1926 Alexandra Bridge during a pre-COVID-19 tour. (Photo credit: Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning)
A group of outdoor enthusiasts and heritage buffs learning more about the history of the iconic 1926 Alexandra Bridge during a pre-COVID-19 tour. (Photo credit: Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning)
Major grant will help refurbish historic Alexandra Bridge near Spuzzum

The 1926 bridge, which last saw vehicle traffic in 1964, is major attraction on Fraser Canyon drive

Vancouver police say eight people were arrested Wednesday after anti-pipeline protesters blocked off both the entrances and exits to two buildings in the downtown core. (Instagram/Qtcatspictureclub)
8 people arrested after anti-pipeline protestors chain themselves to Vancouver buildings

Cst. Tania Visintin said demonstrators caused ‘a serious safety hazard’ downtown for hours Wednesday

Jamie Coutts recorded a man following her around downtown Vancouver for a half-hour on Wednesday, March 18. (Instagram screenshot/Iammjammbamm)
Man charged in alleged high-profile Vancouver stalking case that went viral online

Man faces five other charges including criminal harassment and assault with a weapon

A sea lion swims past the window of an empty viewing area Vancouver Aquarium is pictured Thursday, September 10, 2020. The Vancouver Aquarium has had to close its doors to the public due to the lack of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
U.S.-based theme park company buys Vancouver Aquarium

Aquarium had to shut its doors in September due to COVID pandemic

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

A deep cut on a humpback whale is shown in this recent handout photo in the Vancouver area. A conservation organization is warning boaters to be extra careful to prevent further harm to an injured humpback whale swimming in the Vancouver area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Ocean Wise, Vanessa Prigollini *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Boaters urged to use caution around hurt humpback off Vancouver

Ocean Wise says watchers first noticed the wound 3 days ago and believe it was caused by a vessel strike

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada negotiating contracts to secure COVID-19 booster shots for next year: Anand

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers are already testing new versions against variants

Most Read