Going for a Pickup Ride

What dog does not like to go for a ride in the car or on the back of a pickup truck?  Being left behind when the family is heading off for a day of hiking or a picnic in the park is too much fun to miss out on.  But an outing can turn into tragedy when a dog is put in the back of a pickup truck and not properly restrained.  Thankfully, more and more states have laws making it illegal to have a dog in the bed of a pickup unless they are properly restrained or in a dog crate.  Several states still add additional protection by not allowing dogs in the back of a pickup truck, even if they are restrained. 

These laws became necessary not only for the safety of dogs, but also for the concern of human safety. Dogs falling out of the back of pickup trucks have caused too many serious accidents and in some cases resulted in people dying.  In most of these incidents the dog had absolutely no chance at all of surviving.

Before you take your dog for a ride in the back of a truck, get prepared.  Find out what the laws are in your states.  If you can have a dog in the back of a pickup truck help protect them, there are metal bars that can be purchased at pet stores that stretch from one side of the truck bed to the other, right behind the cab.  Then a metal cable, short enough so that the dog cannot reach the edge of the truck and either fall or jump out and strangle itself, is attached to the middle of the bar.  If an dog crate is used instead, it has be tied down so it will not fall over, with the dog in it.

Physical restraints are not the only protection you dog needs. Even though it’s fun to take a dog with you, there are days when it is best to leave them at home.  On hot days, being in an open truck bed gives a dog no protection from the sun.  And, if the floor of the truck bed is metal, it can get extremely hot when the weather begins to climb above 80 degrees.  If a dog is forced to stand on the hot metal they run the risk of burning their paws.  When the weather is cold or it’s raining or snowing, a dog in the back of a pickup has no protection.  Putting the dog inside a dog crate can provide some protection, but when in doubt, just leave the dog at home.  Your best bet is to always have the dog inside a car where they will be the safest.  This will also decrease the chances of a dog being stolen.  A dog left alone in the back of a parked pickup truck is a much easier target.

Dogs like to go places, so when they join you on your next outing, take the steps to protect them so that everyone arrives back home safely.

Join our Cause

Stop the suffering.
Save lives with SPCA International.

Sign up for SPCA International alerts to receive regular updates on animals in crisis and how you can help.