Dogs jumping from high SUVs risk injury, says study

Jumping out of high SUV boots is shown to place more stress on dogs’ front legs, potentially doing long-term harm

Nissan X-Trail 4Dogs concept

A new study has shown dog-owning SUV drivers could be putting their pets’ health at risk by forcing them to jump out of their cars’ high boots.

Researchers analysed the impact leaping from different heights had on dogs’ legs, getting 15 dogs to jump from platforms set to three different heights.

Best cars for pets 2018

The study’s authors found that “allowing dogs to repeatedly jump clear from vehicles with high boot compartments may be inadvisable."

The dogs in question were made to jump from platforms set at 0.55, 0.65 and 0.75 metres, simulating common car boot heights. The study, published in Vet Record, found that the stresses placed on the dogs’ front legs progressively increased as the platform’s height was increased.

There was roughly a 25 per cent increase in peak ground force pressure between the lowest and highest platforms. This led Dr Alison Wills, one of the study’s authors and a senior lecturer in animal science at Hartpury University, to warn that “allowing dogs to jump from bigger cars with a higher boot sill may result in augmented levels of loading on anatomical structures."

Dr Wills also cautioned that “dogs jumping from a vehicle may have undergone an extended period of rest meaning they lack the warm up that is essential for injury prevention."

Dog owners concerned about their pets’ jumping from their SUVs may wish to give Nissan a call: following the positive reception of its 4Dogs concept, the company introduced an optional Paw Pack for its X-Trail SUV. This includes a dog guard, a bed, and crucially a ramp for dogs to walk up and down when accessing the car’s boot.

Need to keep your car clean for your dog? These are the best car boot liners money can buy…

Recommended

Breakdowns following pothole strikes surge by highest rate ever seen
Potholes
Consumer news

Breakdowns following pothole strikes surge by highest rate ever seen

Report shows 37 per cent increase over the last quarter, as breakdown firm warns roads “are like the surface of the moon”
20 Apr 2021
UK child car seat, booster seat and baby seat laws explained
Child seat booster seat car seat
Consumer news

UK child car seat, booster seat and baby seat laws explained

Detailed info on latest baby seat and child seat regulations, plus when it’s OK to use a booster seat
24 Mar 2021
8,800 drivers on UK roads with 12 points
Driver with second highest points doesn't have licence
News

8,800 drivers on UK roads with 12 points

There are currently 8,800 drivers in the UK still driving despite having enough penalty points to trigger an automatic ban
9 Mar 2021
VED road tax: how much does it cost?
car tax calculator
Consumer news

VED road tax: how much does it cost?

Confused by VED road tax? Our comprehensive guide explains how much you'll pay on your next car
4 Mar 2021

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen Polo facelift launch set for 22 April
Volkswagen Polo
Volkswagen Polo Hatchback

New 2021 Volkswagen Polo facelift launch set for 22 April

Volkswagen will pull the wraps off its updated Polo supermini later this week
19 Apr 2021
Cupra Formentor vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio vs Porsche Macan
Cupra Formentor vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio vs Porsche Macan
Porsche Macan SUV

Cupra Formentor vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio vs Porsche Macan

Can the new Cupra Formentor stack up to the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Porsche Macan in this sporty SUV battle?
17 Apr 2021
New 2021 Mercedes EQB electric SUV revealed with 260-mile range
Mercedes EQB - front
Mercedes EQB

New 2021 Mercedes EQB electric SUV revealed with 260-mile range

The new Mercedes EQB joins the EQA and EQC in the German brand's all-electric SUV line-up
18 Apr 2021