Over 100,000 Dogs Are Killed Annually From Riding In Truck Beds

For most of us, see a dog riding in the back of a truck, doesn’t pose much of a concern. In fact, it’s pretty commonplace to see people driving around with their dogs in the beds of their trucks – especially during the summer.

However, it turns out that there are some very compelling statistics about why this is a very dangerous idea – and you can’t really argue with facts. A dog being transported in the unsecured cargo area or truck bed of vehicles is at risk of injury since they can easily jump out or get thrown from the vehicle.

KHQA ABC News interviewed Steve Scherer from Quincy Animal Control, who confirmed the risks of having a dog in the bed of a truck is just too great of a risk.

“The dog could see something and jump. Most dogs are smart enough not to, though, but I would worry about getting in an accident – the dog’s going to be a projectile then. I would also worry about a dog being tethered in the back of a truck because it could jump over the side of a bed and hang itself,” Scherer explained.

Basically, the whole point is to not put your dog in the bed of a truck. The American Humane organization further detailed the facts of why it’s so dangerous:

  • Any sudden start, stop, or turn could potentially toss your dog onto the highway where it can get hit by oncoming traffic – an estimated 100,000 dogs die this way each year.
  • Open truck beds provide no protection from the weather. The hot sun can heat the metal floor of a truck bed enough to burn a dog’s paw pads. A dog left sitting in the broiling sun without water or shade can easily suffer heatstroke.
  • Putting a leash on your dog inside the truck does nothing to change their safety – in fact, many dogs have been strangled when tossed or bumped over the side of the truck and been left helplessly dangling.

In short, the cargo area of a pickup truck is no place for your dog if you consider yourself to be a responsible pet owner.

Now, depending on where you live it may or may not be a legal offense since only a handful of states have laws specifically prohibiting dogs from riding unrestrained in the back of pickup trucks.

Most state laws that addressed the problem, have made it illegal to transport a dog “on a public road in the back of an open bed vehicle,” meaning any transport of a dog in a truck bed via a private road or driveway would not be outlawed in these states. As of 2019, there are only six states – CA, CT, ME, MA, NH, and RI –have such laws.

Given the serious risks involved, dog owners must always put pet safety first. Riding in the back seat of a car in a crate is a much safer alternative.

Riding in a truck bed can also place dogs in contact with shifting loads sufficient to cause injuries and, if the truck bed is uncovered, can also expose them to road dust and debris.

So, always be cautious about your pet’s safety and don’t put them in truck beds.


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