Dogs should ride inside

Dogs should ride inside (Courtesy of the American Humane Association / August 4, 2010)

Q: What kills an estimated 100,000 dogs per year and is completely preventable?

A: Riding in the back of pickup trucks.

It’s popular and looks fun, but driving a pickup truck with a dog in the bed can be deadly, and about 100,000 pet owners learn that lesson the hard way every year.

To combat that statistic, Ford and the American Humane Association have launched a new pet-safety campaign to discourage pet owners from riding with dogs in the backs of trucks, and caution against letting dogs ride inside vehicles with their heads out the window. "Dogs Ride Inside" reminds owners that simple actions can prevent serious injury or death while transporting pets.

Their recommendations include:

Always ride with pets inside the cab of pickup trucks -- never in the bed.

Drivers of trucks with back seats should put pets there while driving. Animals in the front seat can become distractions and cause accidents.

Be sure all pets have visible ID tags with current contact information when leaving home. Microchip pets and ensure that information is kept up-to-date with the microchip company.

Never let a pet ride in a car with their head out the window. It’s OK to briefly roll down the window to satisfy a curious nose, but more than that can cause serious injury from rocks and other debris or the pet falling out the window.

Never leave pets unattended in vehicles.

Love your dog? Make sure he rides inside, and in a safe manner, for many happy roadtrips to come.