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Driving With Your Dog’s Head Out the Window

On our way to the lure course today, we saw two different vehicles driving on a highway at speeds of 55-65mph. Both of these pick-up trucks had dogs in them, one a beautiful Golden Retriever and the other was a large mix of some kind I think, also a very pretty dog. Both of these dogs were hanging out the passenger side window from about chest height or little lower.

The day before that as we were headed for the grocery store we found ourselves behind a pick-up truck which had four dogs riding in the open bed. I won’t tell you what I thought about the drivers of these vehicles putting their dogs in these dangerous situations because I would have to censor the comment. What I will say is “what the hell is wrong with you people?”

Just a few common-sense things that come to mind that are dangrous about this practice are:

  • You’re allowing your dog’s eyes to be exposed to UFO’s. Things like dirt, rocks, insects and any other airborne particles or debris which can lead to punctures or scratches. Unless your dog is wearing goggles, you’re subjecting your dog to the same UFO’s that hit your windshield. That beetle bug hitting your windshield at 65 miles per hour makes for a pretty disgusting SPLAT! Now think of that same SPLAT! hitting your dog’s eye. The damage caused might cost you a bundle at the vet and it could even result in permanent damage such as loss of an eye and blindness.
  • The ear flaps can swell and become sore from flapping in the wind and the repeated flapping of the ears against your dog’s head causes trauma to the ear. Blood can pool in the ear flaps potentially causing painful swelling. Allowed to happen to often, your dog could wind up with permanent damage and problems.
  • Allowing your dog to ride in the bed of a pickup truck is extremely dangerous. More than 100,000 dogs are killed each year from falls out of vehicles and numerous vehicle crashes are caused as drivers try to avoid hitting these critters as they come tumbling or flying out. Not only could your dog be seriously injured or killed, but what about the people in the car trying to avoid hitting your dog? Your irresponsible actions could lead to the death of others.

Think of yourself riding shotgun with your head sticking out the window at 65mph. I’ll bet you don’t do it for long. People don’t generally allow their children to ride in the car with their heads sticking out because they know it’s not safe. Why then let your dog do it? Does the fact that it’s a dog and not a child make it any more safe? I think not.

There are some states already that have passed laws requiring that animals riding in vehicles to be properly and safely restrained with more states are following their lead. But that’s another topic I’m saving for another day.


  1. Danny says:

    I have been always against letting your dog do that. I have have let them hang outside the window while our vehicle is in motion.

    • Mom says:

      Hi Danny,

      I’m going to venture a guess from your post that what you really meant was that you never let your dogs hang outside the window while your vehicle is in motion. Way to go!

  2. Destiny says:

    Thank you for posting this blog! I had no idea that it’s very bad to let your dog hang its head out the window!!


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