U.S. Pet Travel Laws Guide

Laws for Pets in Pickup Truck Beds

You may think it's the epitome of Americana -- driving on the open road in an old pickup truck, with dust trailing behind and man's best friend in the pickup bed soaking up the wind and sun. Unfortunately,­ not everyone agrees with you. Pets riding in cars can be dangerous, and pets riding in the back of pickup trucks can be deadly. It's estimated that 100,000 dogs die each year riding in the back of pickup trucks by flying out after an accident, falling out accidently or sliding out the back of an open tailgate [source: Humane Society of Utah].

Dogs have gotten lost or killed when they exited the pickup and the owners didn't realize they were missing. A hard bump can jostle a standing pet from the back, and tying your dog to the pickup bed won't work. In fact, dogs have been dragged along the road and terribly injured falling from a truck while still leashed to it. Dogs that ride in pickups can be exposed to tremendous amounts of dust and road grime from the open bed, which can damage their eyes.

There are several local laws in the works to prohibit or restrict pets from riding in the backs of pickup truck beds [source: Van Sant, Schwartzman]. Even without a law, it makes sense to protect something many people consider part of their families.

Keeping your pet healthy isn't just the right thing -- it's the law! Read on to find out about pet vaccination laws.