2001-Thu Dec 08 20:55:57 MST 2016
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A few months ago, one of my feline patients suffered a scary
double whammy. On a road trip, her owners’ car was struck by
another during a high-speed incident. The carrier she was riding in
was ejected from the vehicle and, presumably upon landing, broke
open. Though no one saw her run, by the time the proverbial dust had
settled, she was nowhere to be found.
Every year, beloved pets suffer in all kinds of unnecessary ways.
Sometimes they’re violent (think car wrecks and being hit by cars)
but, mostly, they’re insidiously habitual, if equally tragic (like
being lost during travel and subsequently euthanized in the
name of population control).
Some of these may seem like strange and improbable events, possibilities
you’re unlikely to encounter in real life. But others are way more
common than pet owners may realize.
Take motor-vehicle crashes as an
example: Though no firm statistics exist on pets as passengers in motor-vehicle accidents, based on the numbers of cars, accidents and pets
riding in cars, we can assume that accidents are a relatively common
cause of injury and death among pets in the U.S.
Which brings me to my list of common automobile safety features pet owners should not ignore, beginning with the poster child for such items: the seat belt.
1. Pet seat belts. Though widely regarded as the No. 1 safety measure responsible
for the dramatic reduction in accidental human deaths in
recent decades, seat belts are only rarely employed by pet owners.
What’s up with that?
As it turns out, seat belts aren’t employed in pets for the same
reasons they meet with resistance among people: They seem like an
unnecessary annoyance. The “It won’t happen to me” mentality is
widely believed to be responsible for this irrational mind-set.
Meanwhile, pets are
injured or prove injurious to others. Sadly, I’ve seen
lots of examples firsthand.
2. Carrier restraints. Pet owners who travel with pets in carriers tend to assume their
pets are safe as long as they’re contained. Unfortunately, my
personal experience contradicts this. Not only does the
example in my opening paragraph disprove this theory, I’ve been
unlucky enough to have observed the unnecessary deaths of several
pets who’d been contained in unsecured carriers during a crash.
Though a carrier restraint can't guarantee your pet won't get hurt in an accident, preventing the carrier from becoming a projectile inside the car may have its merits.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
We combed through 505,270 kitten
names to determine the hottest male
and female monikers of the year.
We scoured our database of 1.1 million
dogs to find out which male and female
monikers reigned supreme this past…
Christmas trees, fatty foods and other
seasonal items may bring cheer to your
home, but they'll cause harm to your…
Dr. Sarah Wooten takes a closer look at
this curious sleeping habit and what it has
to do with canines’ ancestry.
The Kromfohrlander is said to be
descended from a mixed-breed dog
who was a mascot for American troops.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.