Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ford: Dogs ride inside, not the truck bed

 Who remembers this commercial from 1998?

Notice where the dog is sitting -- inside the truck.

We've all seen it -- a dog sitting in the back of the pickup truck as the owner flies down a road. Sometimes the dog looks happy to be back there -- sometimes they look like this one below.

Courtesy of Listener42 via Flickr Creative Commons
 A company more well known for its trucks is trying to change that.

Ford Motor Company has joined up with the American Humane Association to tell pickup drivers: Dogs Ride Inside.

The AHA and Ford say an estimated 100,000 dogs die every year while riding in truck beds, either through car crashes or the dogs jumping out of the truck bed. The stats come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many more dogs are seriously hurt.

Photo courtesy of Hectorir via Flickr Creative Commons.
Ford and AHA do not even want you to transport your dog in a crate in a pickup truck.

Admittedly, this is not an easy thing for truck owners. Not every truck has a lot of space in the cab, especially if you have a big dog. But if you can't fit your dog in the cab -- maybe you should leave your dog at home. Why take the risk that your dog gets hurt?

Photo courtesy of Michaelcrane123 via Flickr Creative Commons
Ford and AHA also offer these tips for pets riding in any vehicle:
  • At the very 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 last point is really important. Last month I parked next to a truck. When I got out of the car I heard a dog barking a high-pitched back, but I couldn't see one. I finally looked in a truck -- someone left a puppy in the truck bed. Is this really necessary? Just leave the dog at home. 


  1. Great post! Thanks for sharing. :) I hate it when I see dogs riding in the truck bed. Sure, they generally look very happy. But all it takes is one swerve and that dog could fly out.

  2. Great post! Seeing dogs riding in the bed freaks me out. I have Border Collies, and I can't even drive with the windows down, because they would want to herd the other cars and jump out.

    Anyway, about that puppy... A couple of weeks ago I visited HomeDepot, and I ended up scurrying around to rescue a frog. The friendly clerk recognized an animal lover when he saw one, and told me of an event from earlier in the day.

    A customer had parked his pickup truck in the Home Depot parking lot. Someone placed a puppy and a bowl of water in the truck bed and left. OMG!

    Luckily, the truck owner took it as a sign that he was meant to have a dog, and he decided to call the puppy "Saturday" because this took place on a Saturday. I know these things happen, but I still can't get my mind around it!

    ~ Maria

  3. That old commercial is so much fun! Great campaign by Ford and AHA too. I hate seeing dogs riding in a truck bed. Scary!

  4. Thanks for this post - we wrote about it a few weeks ago too - I didn't know about this Ford program, so good for them!

  5. How awesome! Glad to know that Ford is stepping up to the plate to help out!

  6. Great post and already shared it on FB. It drives me absolutely insane when I see dogs riding in the bed of a pickup!

  7. Nothing bugs me more than seeing dogs in truck beds, especially a flat bed truck with no sides! I see a lot of this in "farm country" where they think it's just fine. Makes me want to pull them over. GRRRRR

  8. I had no idea Ford had a program like this, but it is great! Thank you for sharing. I hope this helps educate more people to keep their dogs safe.

  9. Hooray Ford! Makes me a little proud to be a Ford owner! It's so upsetting to see a dog in the back of a truck! Especially when they are flying down the freeway!

    (Thanks for the blast from the past - I'd forgotten about that commercial!)

  10. High Paw! Reading this makes me even happier that I drive a Ford! (Ok, so mine is a small car, but it is still a Ford! BOL!) Thank you for the info!

  11. Great post, glad to hear about Ford doing this. A young "kid" was going to the lake with his dog, a puppy, and it jumped out of his truck bed. The dog ended up with a broken hip and he wasn't even able to pay for the exam that we gave the poor dog... We also did x-rays. We gave him the option of surgery and sent him home with some donated pain medications, but never heard from him again sadly.

  12. So many humans have no clue what they are doing when they take their dog for a ride, it is sickening! They need to be completely inside the vehicle and properly restrained! Thank you to Ford for at least starting to get the ball rolling.

  13. This is ridiculous. You probably think dogs should all live in the house and only walk on a leash too. My dog would be pissed if he had to live indoors. He will hardly come in any more. That's beside the point of vehicles though. I don't argue that leaving dogs inside vehicles is bad or that a pup should not be left alone in a truck bed, but a trained dog is fine for a short time.

    1. I would argue that it depends on condition -- if it's really hot or really cold outside, yes, bring them in. Why expose them to the elements? As for walking on the leash, again, depends on the conditions, but if you are walking around a neighborhood, for the sake of other dog owners yes I would prefer people walk their dogs on leashes. My dog won't do anything if your dog runs up to him. But I have seen other dogs in my neighborhood in the short time I've lived there where that's not the case. So yes, for the sake of your dog, and the other, why take that chance? However if you're walking in the woods or something and you want to take that chance sure, why not?

      But I'm sorry, I can't agree that a trained dog is good in a truck bed for a short time. I feel the same way about people too.If you're on a main road you cannot compensate for what other people do. If you're a consenting adult and you want to take that chance, fine. Dogs don't know about those risks. It's up to us to keep them safe.


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