Seatbelts for dogs?

I read an interesting piece in the paper this morning in which the Transport Minister for the Republic of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, is in discussion with the Road Safety Authority about keeping dogs restrained securely in vehicles. In the Republic of Ireland, as is with the UK, there are strict rules about securing humans, but none for animals. So what is the point of seatbelts for dogs?

I find this interesting for two reason. The first being that in a collision, a dog could inflict serious damage if it is thrown about the car. The images from that road safety ad which ran a couple of years back, with the tagline “it was the one with no seat belt that did the damage”, showed us just how serious this issue can be. Seeing since some dogs can weigh the same as an adult human, no doubt the same damage could be caused.

Secondly, if you’ve had a collision, your car is damaged, and you need to get out of the car or someone needs to help you out. If your dog is not securely restrained, what happens to them if they are in a state of panic and make a break for freedom? They could easily be injured by oncoming traffic if able to escape onto the road.

Both the ISPCA and USPCA have backed the proposed discussion on seatbelts for dogs today, however, as reported in the papers, there have been cases in other countries where the idea has been shot down as being a “stupid proposal”.

I secure my dog when in my car, but this came about because if I didn’t, he would be in front seat beside me and covering me in hairs! It’s funny to think that I wouldn’t dare drive my car with an unseat-belted human passenger, yet because it isn’t the norm, I would be less likely to think about unsecured dogs. What are your opinions on this?

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