Ford has gone to the dogs with pickup truck campaign

Michael James

Jinx the dog and human companion in a Ford pickup truck.

The message is simple: Dogs should never ride in the bed of a pickup truck. Why? According to the American Human Association (AHA), an estimated 100,000 dogs die each year riding in truck beds.

As such, Ford and the AHA have teamed in a new pet safety campaign to remind pickup truck drivers that dogs should never ride in the bed of a pickup truck.

Called “Dogs Ride Inside,” the campaign reminds all drivers that simple, basic actions can prevent serious injury or death while transporting a beloved family pet.

Jinx the dog and human companion in a Ford pickup truck.
Jinx the dog and human companion in a Ford pickup truck.

“Unfortunately, we have all seen dogs riding in the bed of a pickup truck, which is an extremely dangerous way to transport your pet,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association, the country’s first national humane organization.

The AHA and Ford recommend:

* All animals should ride inside a pickup truck cab – never in the bed of a truck.

* At minimum, your pet should always ride in the back seat if your truck has one. An animal in the front seat can quickly become a driver distraction and cause an accident, jeopardizing the pet and everyone else in the vehicle. The highest volume F-Series trucks – the F-150 SuperCrew and Super Duty Crew Cab both have spacious second-row seats ideal for man’s best friend. Better yet is to restrain, contain or crate your pet with a pet carrier or specially designed pet seatbelt.

* Dogs love sticking their heads outside of a moving car, but that’s also one of the easiest ways for a pet to be injured, whether it’s from a flying rock or even falling out of the vehicle.  It’s OK to briefly roll the window down to satisfy a curious nose, but not more than that. Wind can seriously irritate mucous membranes and blow pieces of grit into their eyes.

* Just in case you and your pet become separated, be sure that all ID tags are properly affixed to your pet’s collar and that they have your current contact information, including cell number(s). Your pet should also have an ID microchip implanted – and make sure the microchip registration and pet license information is up-to-date. Consider including the name and phone number of an emergency contact.

* Never leave pets unattended inside of vehicles. Remember that cars heat up fast – even with the windows cracked.

This fall, Ford will sponsor a month-long adoption and pet safety tour in conjunction with Fido Friendly magazine. “Get Your Licks on Route 66” will visit 15 cities from Los Angeles to Chicago promoting pet safety and adoption; in the first four years of the tour more than 1,500 animals have been placed in new homes. Shelters along the route and dates can be found at getyourlicksonroute66.com.

Source: Ford Motor Company.

Article Last Updated: September 14, 2013.

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