Dogs Die Falling Off Pickup Trucks

“It has been estimated that at least 100,000 dogs die each year when (accidentally) tossed from pickup trucks, For your dog’s safety, don’t let it ride in the back of an open pickup truck. Even if it isn’t killed, it could be lost and you might not even know where it fell out.” Dogs In Pickups-A Bad Idea The Humane Society of Utah’s website.

Why let a dog ride where a child cannot?
Loose in a truck bed is deadly to dogs.

Falling, being thrown or jumping from the back of a pickup truck, dogs die. The number of  dog deaths does not include dogs injured, blinded or lost. Dog lovers and those who care about animal welfare want this to stop. State laws exist and more states are writing laws protecting the safety of dogs riding in truck beds.  Laws on Dogs Secured Within the Vehicle eHow website

A jarring stop, a fender bender or a terrifying impact crashes loose dogs into pavement. These accidents cause serious injuries to dogs. Several websites address the danger to dogs made to ride unsecured in truck beds. I have included three links to sources giving a peek into this national problem.

No driver wants to hit a dog. A quick defensive maneuver to avoid a fallen dog often thrusts a fallen dog into the path of other drivers, pedestrians or cyclists. Traffic flow has often forced a driver to run over a dog thrown from a truck. This shocking experience is preventable. And the owner of the untied out dog may be legally liable for any and all damages to people and to property from an accident caused by a helpless dog flying off a pickup truck.

Never drive, while leaving your dog loose in the open bed of a pickup truck. Even if your dog isn’t killed or injured, it could be lost and you might not know where it fell or jumped out. A dog untethered in an open pickup bed could be your worst nightmare.

“Many state and local governments now regulate how dogs must be carried in truck beds. For example, California law requires that dogs in the open bed of a pickup must be in a fastened cage or cross-tied to the truck unless the sides of the truck are at least 46 inches high. Violators can be fined 50 to 100 dollars for a first offense and up to 250 dollars for a third offense.  Nevada and Washington have laws in place that deal with transporting animals in a safe and pain free manner.  The laws mandate that animals must be secured and carried in a humane way in which they are protected from any kind of pain or torture.”

Tie-out systems fix pets securely in a vehicle yet allow some movement.  Hard-sided safety crates fastened to the bed provide another option. These items are available at your local pet shop or farm supply.

So please, properly secure your pet to prevent loss of life, personal injury or damage to other cars and trucks.

12 thoughts on “Dogs Die Falling Off Pickup Trucks

    1. Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing on Twitter. You would be surprised how many loose dogs we see in the back of pickup trucks. I often slow down so if a driver hits the brakes I can avoid running over his dog.


    1. Thanks Thonie for taking time to comment. I want to write much more on this topic and slide some of the posts into guest blogging for other sites. If you have any suggestions on who I should contact, please let me know.

      Years ago, there were no seat belts. Now I’m pushing for safety crates secure in truck beds, plus seat belts or strapped down crates for all pets riding in any vehicle.


  1. I appreciate the comments and this article. I work for a company that gives me a pickup truck. Unfortunately I can’t let the dogs ride inside the truck due to rules from the company about pet hair. They are very strict about these rules. I’ve been trying to come up with a way they could come with me to work otherwise they would have to sit at home inside my house with no AC. i’ve thinking about it for a long time and I knew I didnt want to transport them loose in the back. Logically it just seems plain dangerous. I was looking at these cross-tie systems. Now the suggestion of covering the black bedliner is a great thought that I didn’t think of before I read it here. I don’t have a lot of money, so I can’t afford to change my truck by installing a crate system. Plus, the company wouldn’t allow it anyway. I have a lab and a lab/pit mix. And they shed like they’re supplying a wig factory. So bringing the dogs into the truck is a sure way to get my job taken from me. I can’t afford a dog walking service, plus I’d like to see th dogs doing something. It happens that I work right by a lake that i can take them swimming on my breaks. etc. I care deeply about my dogs and If i use the cross tie system with a blanket for the bed of the truck, is that safe enough? Is there anyway to talk about how to safely transport dogs in a truck in detail so I can make sure I’m maximizing safety under the circumstances? Do I just have to let my dogs sit at home? In your opinion, how can i resolve this dilemma?


    1. Hi John, thanks for your thoughtful care of your dogs. I think some type of none slip throw rug, find a light colored one that won’t melt on the metal truck bed and a tie out system would work for your dogs. I’ll look into no-slip surfaces safe for dogs and trucks then I’ll get back to you in a few days.


    1. Elaine, thanks for commenting on another danger to dogs. Often dog parents forget dogs don’t wear shoes. Hot sidewalks and black surfaces blister foot pads. A worthy topic of another blog post on animal welfare, would you like to write it?


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