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A Dog Hanging His Head out the Car Window Could Be in Danger

Schipperke with head out the car window reflection in mirror

By Dawn Ross, October 2015
Some dogs just love to stick their head out the window when they ride in the car. Although enjoyable, there are some dangers to consider. But don’t despair. There is a way to protect your dog and still allow him to enjoy the breeze. First, let’s go over the dangers.

I’ve been running Pet Auto Safety since 2006 and I can tell you quite a few stories shared by some of the people who’ve purchased products from us. Two of the most tragic have come from people whose dogs have flown or jumped out of the car window and were killed.

One dog was thrown from the open window when their owner had to suddenly swerve out of the way of a car changing lanes into their lane. The dog lost his grip on the window sill and the inertia of the car maneuver threw him out. He might have lived had it not been for the car behind them. They tried to stop couldn’t.

The second story was of a dog that jumped out when he saw another dog walking down the sidewalk. The owner had never known her dog to do such a thing before. But something about this situation made the dog leap before he looked. He also was killed by another car that couldn’t stop in time.

I myself had a dog jump out the car window when he saw some cows he wanted to chase. This was years and years ago before I ever heard of dog seat belts or car window screens. Luckily, my dog Huckleberry was okay. We were on a dirt road so going fairly slow and there were no cars behind us that could have run him over.

I’ve had one person share a story with me about their dog getting hit by flying debris. A truck up ahead was carrying gravel and some of the gravel was flying out of the back. This person heard their dog yelp and whimper. When she pulled over, her dog had a gash on her nose. Fortunately, it didn’t do any permanent damage or require surgery, but the dog was very uncomfortable for many days.

Corgi in car behind BreezeGuard window screens

Ever since my dog Huck jumped out the window, the days of any of my dogs being allowed to stick their heads out the window were over. Sephi and Maya never experienced the joy of a fast breeze. That is, until I got the BreezeGuard car window screens from Mutt Managers. These screens are very well made and they are custom made to fit just about any car door window. Simply insert the tabs of the screen into the window sill and secure at the top with the super-durable strap(s). You can still roll your window up and down with ease. You can leave the screens in or remove them as needed without any trouble at all. The wire mesh easily allows your dog to get a breeze from the open window. And it is highly unlikely that your dog will be able to break out of the durable wire mesh screens.

The BreezeGuard car window screens are a really great product. As of the date this article was written, there are no comparable products that I am aware of. But there are a few things you should know before you buy.

First, the screens are not crash tested. While they are probably durable enough to keep your dog from breaking out, their strength has not been tested against the forces of a car accident.

Second, these car window screens are not intended to prevent your dog from getting heat stroke if you leave him alone in the car. Even with the windows all the way down, cars still absorb and trap heat.

If the weather is nice and you’re not worried about heat, you still shouldn’t leave your dog alone in the car. The car window screens are not theft proof. Although the straps securing the window are very strong, someone could still cut them and remove the screens to unlock your door and steal your dog.

The screens are custom made so they can only be used for one vehicle. If you get a new car, you may have to buy new screens.

I love my BreezeGuard car window screens. So did Sephi and so do Maya and Pierson. I have had them for over five years and have left them in place the entire time. Nothing about the screens, not even the connecting strap, have deteriorated. They still look new. If you’re interested in purchasing these screens, gather your vehicle information and visit Expect 3-4 weeks for custom construction and delivery.

Copyright © Nature by Dawn