“How safe is that doggie in the pickup truck?”

” The one with the waggly tail.”


Whilst travelling here in Florida, I was rather shocked to see a beautiful Golden Labrador Retriever being transported on the back of a truck.


The dog was roaming around from side to side of the vehicle, and although it seemed to be quite enjoying the ride, I asked myself how safe is it to transport an animal in this unrestrained manner and is it actually legal? There are stringent safety belt laws for us humans, and surely an animal on the back of a truck is a hazard to both itself and other road users. If the dog had spotted something of interest on the sidewalk, such as a lady dog, might he not jump out of the truck to go and investigate?Β  I was just reading a sad story of poor NiΓ±a, a Shepherd/Border Collie in Portland Oregon, who had to be put down after she was badly injured in such an incident. I’ve lived in South Africa where it’s quite common to see school children as well as workers being transported in this manner, and there are numerous reports of accidents where they are thrown out of the truck and killed or injured, and yet no law is implemented to stop this practice. I don’t know if there’s a law against it here in the US. What’s your opinion, and do you know what the law says about this?



88 comments on ““How safe is that doggie in the pickup truck?”

  1. It’s so sad to see this, and worrying too. Used to see it in California all the time, there should be a law against it, I agree Sylvia. Hope the poor doggy in this case was safe… xx

  2. i wish the owners would let this adorable dog ride in the cab of the truck or at least have a person attending it while riding like that…or have him leashed and secured or have a crate for him to ride in. no laws against this in Florida i guess?

  3. I think it’s a law that people cannot be transported in this way. Not sure if it’s a law across the US or if it varies by state.
    As for animals/pets – My Fenway is always in his harness & belted in.

  4. Aww people just don’t think. Sorry for the doggie in the pickup. Good post to raise awareness of safety for transport of man/woman’s best friends.

  5. I know the ASPCA is definitely against this practice. It’s very dangerous for dogs, no matter how much fun it looks like they are having. I remember being a young kid and riding in the back of a pick-up truck–also riding in cars without seat belts. I survived. Many of us did. But standards of safety have changed and so has the number of vehicles on the road. We didn’t know any better then. Now that we do, we should always err on the side of safety.

  6. Great capture Sylvia. Have never seen dogs being transported like this here, but humans and cattle are a common sight. We can only hope he reached his destination without incident πŸ™‚

  7. Some people don’t deserve to own dogs. I haven’t seen dogs riding on the back of trucks like that in the UK, but I have seen them with their heads sticking out of windows, waiting to get poked in their eyes by twigs, or brained on low branches or numerous other dangers. If not this, they are left in cars with all the windows shut, to slowly asphyxiate/cook in the summer sun.

  8. Some people don’t deserve to own dogs. I haven’t seen dogs riding on the back of trucks like that in the UK, but I have seen them with their heads sticking out of windows, waiting to get poked in their eyes by twigs, or brained on low branches or numerous other dangers. If not this, they are left in cars with all the windows shut, to slowly asphyxiate/cook in the summer sun.

  9. People aren’t allowed to ride in the back of a pick-up, but I don’t think there is a law for animals. There should be. I see quite a few dogs who are in the back and are restrained. Even with a leash or rope, they could hang themselves if they decided to jump out. A crate is the best bet.

  10. On the other hand, Sissy always rides in the car with me. Some say she shouldn’t be in my lap, but she’s small and doesn’t interfere with my driving.

      • I probably ought not jinx myself- though not a slow driver, I’ve driven many hundreds of thousands of miles with many cross-country trips and never an accident… except for that landscape rock I backed into. πŸ˜‰

  11. Dogs should be restrained in the center of a vehicle. I have seen a dog tethered on the back of a flat top ute. When tethered wrong, when the vehicle turns a corner the dog loses his balance and falls off the side. If they are lucky the rope breaks and the dog is free, if not the dog can be dragged along the road. It is cruel. I have seen two dogs tethered as it went past us. Further down the road I saw one dog running beside the road with the rope still attached. Everyone needs to care more for their dogs. Also the wind blowing in their face adds to the risk of dog going blind.

  12. There are laws against this sort of thing Sylvia, but it’s not enforced. Some people just don’t think and it’s true what you say. It’s very dangerous for the dog and the other drivers. When we see something like this here, we report it. πŸ˜€

  13. Our SPCA code of welfare in NZ says ‘Except for working dogs at work, dogs
    must not be carried on the open rear
    of a moving vehicle unless they are
    secured or enclosed in a crate.’

  14. The law. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California, Maine, Oregon, Washington, Florida and Rhode Island restrict dogs from trucks or open vehicles. I wonder if it’s enforced? Like Apple Pie replied, in the south it is a common practice and you don’t see those states having laws. Sylvia, the truck tag looks out of state. It doesn’t look like a Florida tag. Just wondering. Beautiful dog.

  15. Here in Canada, we rarely see it and in the cases that do happen the truck is in relatively slow speed areas or are covered by those mini awning things people put on in the back. πŸ™‚

  16. I share your thoughts. What if it jumps? What if the truck brakes suddenly? I’m not for over protection, but in this case that dog should not be travelling loose in the open back like that.

  17. Darn! I don’t know… You do have a point but… maybe we are too concerned about safety? Or maybe it depends on the truck’s speed? Nice dog, though! πŸ™‚

      • I’ve been on and off with the writing. I think my main problem at the moment is pure laziness! Plus, it’s been so hot that I can’t think πŸ˜‰ I’ll be back blogging soon and hopefully that will get me into the full writing mood xx

  18. I really don’t think it’s a good idea, no matter how well trained a dog is: A. it might jump off for a number of reasons, B, the wind blowing can harm his eyes [same reason why we shouldn’t leave our dogs with a window open in a moving car. While it is a cute picture seeing the ears waving, tiny particles can go into their eyes and harm them. C. in the event of an emergency braking, the dog might end up flying off the car! Really cute Labrador! πŸ™‚

  19. When we moved to Florida in 1989, we saw lots of dogs traveling in that manner. I live near a rural area that has little traffic. They have their dogs ride like that all the time. I believe they passed a law about unrestrained animals or kids – sometimes, there would be kids in the back. They aren’t allowed to use collars with leads to keep them in the back because a few dogs hung themselves when they tried to jump out. It’s sad. It’s so hot for them, too. : (

  20. I was just reading these statistics a few days ago that 100,000 dogs die each year riding in truck beds in the US… and that doesn’t count the ones that are injured and survived… it makes me crazy whenever I see this and it is way too often. Of course I see children riding in the backs of trucks too…

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