Making It Illegal for Your Dog to Stick 
His Head Out the Car Window

Lawmakers in Florida are trying to put new safety measures 
for dogs on the books.


Few sights are as endearing to a dog lover as seeing a canine exuberantly sticking his head out the car window and feeling the breeze on his face. And many dog lovers like to extend that pleasure to their own pets. But it is dangerous. A dog can get hurt by flying pebbles thrown up by other cars. Dust can get into his eyes. And the flapping of soft ears in the wind can irritate them, make them swell, and cause damage. Dogs have fallen out of car windows, too. All it takes is one too-fast turn around a bend for a dog to lose his footing.

It is for these reasons that a bill has been introduced in Florida that would make it illegal for a dog’s head (or other body parts) to be out of the window in a moving car. Additionally, a dog would need to be secured in a crate or appropriate dog harness in order not to risk hurtling about in the event of the car stopping shortly or because of an accident. When a dog becomes a projectile, he can hurt not only himself but also the human passengers.

On a separate note, the bill would make it illegal under most conditions to tether a dog, that is, tie him to an inanimate object such as a pole or fence in order to confine him or restrict his movement. It’s inhumane, especially for hours in the hot sun or under other inclement conditions. A pet sitter should be in the form of a human being, not a stake in the ground.

Whether the Florida bill becomes law remains to be seen. But even if it doesn’t make it onto the books, these are important safety and welfare considerations for any pet dog in any state. 


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