Two New And Unique Laws That Are Saving The Lives Of Dogs Each And Every Day

For centuries, dogs have served alongside mankind dutifully. Only recently, however, have people truly started treating their dogs like members of the family. As a result, legislation is catching up with pet owners’ desire to keep dogs everywhere safer, regardless of whether or not these dogs have responsible owners. Here are two laws that significantly cut down on needless injury and death to man’s best friend.

Antifreeze

If you drive a car, you probably have antifreeze stocked in your garage or cleaning cabinet. Antifreeze keeps your vehicle’s temperature under control, cooling it during the summer months and preventing it from freezing during the winter. It is a greenish-yellowish liquid that contains a fatal ingredient called ethylene glycol.

Ethylene glycol tastes sweet, and even the smallest amount can cause severe sickness and death in both animals and humans. Over 90,000 animals die each and every year because they could not resist the sweet taste of antifreeze.

Recently, antifreeze manufacturers have turned to propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol. Propylene glycol is still fatal, but your dog must consume more antifreeze for the fatal effects to set in. This switch has not removed the risks associated with antifreeze, however. When a beloved pet consumes antifreeze, the toxins spread rapidly throughout the body. Initially, your pet may experience nausea and vomiting, seizures, and even a coma. Then, the toxins attack your pet’s organs, causing kidney, liver, cardiovascular, and respiratory failures. Death by antifreeze is not a pleasant experience.

  • Pet Perk: State legislatures have responded to the resounding impact that the sweet-tasting toxins in antifreeze have had on household pets. At the end of 2012, 17 states passed new laws requiring antifreeze manufacturers to add a bittering agent to counteract the tempting sweetness. This change is predicted to save tens of thousands of both pets and people. Even if your state does not mandate this change, look for antifreeze products that include a bittering agent.

Truck Beds

No vision screams exhilaration quite like the image of a dog in a pickup truck bed. Ears flapping, tongue slapping–dogs truly seem to smile when riding in a truck bed at 60 miles an hour.

Unfortunately, about 100,000 dogs die every year because they fall out of a truck bed. The number of dogs injured because of this kind of misfortune is likely even higher. Even if your dog is adjusted to this activity and relaxes during transport, a large bump is all that is needed to catapult your pet to a tragic death. Even if your dog is normally adjusted to the truck bed, an irresistible dog in heat or loud semi-truck could cause your dog to react instinctively and jump out.

  • Pet Perk: A few states, like California, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, have realized the significant danger that pets face when allowed to ride in the bed of a truck. These state have enacted “tether laws” that require pet owners to secure their animals if riding in a truck bed. These laws do not protect dogs from flying debris or injury if the truck should flip, but it does give pet lovers a chance to step in and report owners. The best way to travel with a pet is with a secure dog seat belt, but until legislation catches up, the least you can do is report owners who place their dogs in truck beds–and in immediate danger.

If your dog has been injured, contact an animal hospital in your area.