What is the Safest Way for a Dog to Ride in a Car?
Nov 24,2022 | petbobi
Taking road trips with your dog is always an exciting adventure. Your dog is your best friend and having them tag along from time to time is a great way to have bonding time together. It can also get your dog out of the house and let them feel included rather than them waiting for your return. When you have children riding with you in the car you are always sure to make sure they have the proper car seat or that they are buckled in properly to keep them safe.
The same goes for your dog! Anytime they ride along with you there is a possibility of them getting injured and it is always best to keep them properly contained to eliminate that from happening.
Things That Aren’t Safe
The two most common places that people tend to let their dog sit while riding is in their lap or the passenger seat. What many people don’t realize is that both are unsafe.
If you keep your dog in your lap while driving, it can be more of a distraction to you which can increase the chance of an accident. Your dog will be like a wiggle worm in your lap, especially while keeping up with the curves and hills of the road. If you end up having to come to a quick stop or have to swerve to miss something in the road, your dog being in your lap becomes a liability. There isn’t a way for them to properly brace themselves to prepare for these sudden changes on the road.
Letting your dog sit in the passenger seat with no restraints is unsafe for several reasons. Some are the same as letting them sit in your laps such as being a distraction and the fact that if you come to a quick stop they may be injured. If you were to happen to have an accident the unrestrained dog could also potentially be thrown through the front windshield.
Aside from that, the front airbags have proven to be a hazard for small children as well as dogs. When the airbag deploys, it comes out quickly and hits the passenger hard. A dog is small enough that it could hit them in the face which could cause serious injuries or even be fatal.
Using a Dog Seat Belt Harness
Using a dog seat belt harness is one of the few ways to add safety to your dog’s car ride. It’s a simple solution that lets you use the seatbelt that is already made into the car while keeping your dog from being thrown around the car if an accident were to happen.
You can buy a body harness that wraps around your dog and then is secured to the seatbelt. This is like a harness that you would use on daily walks except it is more durable and has a way to hook it to the seatbelt.
If you already have a harness or want to just use their typical dog collar, you can purchase a steel heavy-duty rope that simply clips on to secure the dog in place. Either option that you choose will be a suitable way to be sure that your dog is safely riding along in the back seat.
Use a Dog Crate
Many people will use a dog crate in the home for their dog to sleep in, to train their dog, or to keep the dog from getting into trouble while they are away. While these are good ways to put a dog crate to use, you can also use the dog crate for car rides!
You can purchase a dog crate of any size to suit the size of your dog. This is a great way to keep them contained in one area of the car and will eliminate the concern of them getting injured. Make sure to find one made of strong material and finding one with padding is even better! The padding will be an added asset for impact protection.
Purchase a Pet Car Bucket Booster Seat
One of the best ways to make sure that your dog is protected while riding in the car is by putting them in a car bucket booster seat. You can purchase this as a small dog car booster seat, it all depends on the size of your fur baby to be sure that it will fit in it!
These pet bucket booster seats are shaped like a square bucket (given the name) that your dog can easily and comfortably sit in. They have a strap that attaches around the seat and around the headrest of the seat to make sure it securely stays in place. The booster seat is a great way to let your dog ride as your passenger sidekick but with less worry.
Additionally, the pet booster seats have a built-in strap that can still be used on a dog harness just like the seatbelt attachment mentioned above which gives extra protection. Your dog can wear the harness and then you snuggly strap them into the booster seat and voila, they have extra support.
Provide a Barrier
Lastly, putting up some type of barrier that separates the back seat from the front is a great way to keep your dog safe. You can use a car net barrier that is stretchable and adjustable. These nets are made specifically for this reason and will keep your dog from coming through in between the front two seats.
Using a pet car seat cover can also double as a safety precaution. These covers come with flaps that cover the back of the seats, the side of the doors, and the whole middle area of the car. The flaps are then strapped around the headrest of the seats and in turn, create a padded back seat barrier for your pup.
At the end of the day, it is completely ok and can be fun to take your dog anywhere and everywhere that you want to go. Just remember the safety tips that go along with anyone riding in your car and that includes your loyal companion!