Riding In Cars with Dogs!


The summer heat can be overwhelming especially when your entire body is covered in fur! Many  dogs love to cool off by sticking their head out of the car window to catch the breeze. While the joy on your pup’s face in your side view mirror is almost unmatched, letting them hang their head out of the window is actually very dangerous.

In addition to the risk of having your dog jump out, a bug or foreign object can fly up and cause serious damage to your dog’s eye. This is especially true for brachycephalic (short-snouted dogs breeds such as pugs) because their eyes naturally protrude.

Also, a dog in this position has an increased risk of injury in an accident. Even sudden movements like braking and turning can cause injury or stress to your dog’s neck. Not to mention, unrestrained pups can be a major source of distracted driving, which further endangers themselves and their owners.

During Minnesota summers, getting into your car after even a couple minutes can feel like entering a sauna. Please don’t leave our friends in your car on a hot day! In Minnesota it’s illegal to leave a dog (or cat) in a car if it endangers the pet’s health or safety. It takes only minutes for the inside of your car to reach temperatures that are dangerous for your dog.

While securing pups in backseat crates has long been a strategy for distracted driving safety, crated pups are not fully safe in case of an accident where they could bounce around within the crate and sustain injuries.

The best solution to all of these car safety issues, much like for humans, is seatbelts! Doggy car safety restraints protect your precious furry cargo from impact forces much better than crates and prevent collision injuries. Finding the right seatbelt or car harness for your dog may take a bit of time and research, but there are amazing options for dogs of all sizes. For smaller pups, this may look like a sort of doggy booster seat that clips in like a child’s would. Other dogs may like a seatbelt that harnesses their chest and torso and connects directly to their car’s belt buckles.

Regardless of the style, doggy car restraint technology allows for safe, non-distracted driving while enabling you to roll down your windows fully so your dog can enjoy all those amazing breezes and scents without putting themselves in danger!

When it gets too hot for your pup to come with on car trips safely, Downtown Dogs daycare is only $5 an hour. With no reservations required after an initial evaluation, Downtown Dogs is the perfect place for your dog to play and make friends while you run around town.

The advice provided is based on many years of experience as dog parents and operators of one of the largest and longest established dog daycare and boarding facilities in the Twin Cities. Always consult your veterinarian. When not sharing advice, our dog bloggers — Frannie, Lyle, and Helen — share a space with their people, Downtown Dogs owner Ralph Bernstein and his wife, Abbe.”