Is It OK for My Dog To Put His Head Out the Car Window?

From our reader mailbox: Is it ok to let your dog stick his head out the window of a car? Or is it too dangerous?

We’re glad you asked this because it’s such an important question. We all see the joy that dogs get in sticking their head out the window of a moving car so it’s a natural question as to whether it’s a good idea or not.

The answer: it is NOT good to allow your dog to put his head out the window of your car. For all the pleasure he may get out of it, you’re endangering his life by allowing him to put his head out the window of the moving car. The dangers are numerous:

  • he could lean too far and fall out the car
  • you could suddenly have to stop (or be hit) and he could fall out of the car
  • he could get a bug or other object embedded in his eye. Even the smallest particle becomes a projectile in a moving car and could cause him to lose his eye.
  • your car could suddenly be sideswiped, crushing your dog between the two cars
  • you could lose control of the car and hit an object (or not see an object that’s protruding) with the side of the car where he’s riding unprotected

The safest–actually the only–place he should be in your car is safely restrained, whether that’s in a secured crate, in a seatbelt for dogs, or in a car seat for dogs. Any other arrangement means you’re putting his life in danger (and, because of the distraction that could be caused if any of the above things occur, you’re also putting your own life and the lives of your human passengers at risk.)

Instead of letting your dog put his head out the window, just crack the windows slightly so he gets the breeze and all the smells that come along with it. Be sure the air-conditioner is on and getting to his part of the car as well. You’ll all ride a lot safer…and a safe ride is the REAL joy of every car trip!

Do you have a question for us? Drop us an email at editors@dogtipper.com – just please be sure to use “Ask Paris” in the subject line. We’ll do our best to answer questions in this space!


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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.