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

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

CNC’s Applied Research and Innovation had partnered with the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Cariboo Agricultural Research Alliance and Mackin Creek Farm after receiving funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to research a number of solutions potentially extending northern growing seasons. (Photo submitted)
Ways to extend growing season in B.C.’s north explored by College of New Caledonia in Quesnel

Low-cost supplemental LED lighting appears to benefit plant growth

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Binche residents Doug Connors (left) with Ross Duncan and Paul Lewis were thrilled after a mission to rescue a moose stranded on Stuart Lake was successful Friday, April 2. (Photo submitted)
Daring moose rescue on Stuart Lake garners national attention

“I’m just saving an animal,” said Ross Duncan with Paul Lewis and Doug Connors

(Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts on Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for what the COVID-19 public health orders are,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read