• December 26th, 2022
    Written by: Kimberly

    When driving with your dog in the car, you want to be sure that your pup stays safe. A dog that has his head out the window, is running around in the back seat, or is not secured is both a distraction and at risk if you stop suddenly.

    Securing your dog when in the car will help keep both of you safe, but it is important to choose a method that is right for your dog’s size and build, and will be effective for regular driving and during accidents.

    Best Products for Keeping a Dog Safe in the Car

    As you consider how to keep your dog safe and secure while you are driving, start off with a bit of research. Think about how your dog already behaves in the car. If your dog is relatively calm but you want to keep him in place in the event of a crash, a seatbelt or hammock may solve your issue. If your dog is highly active, a more confining method like a crate may be necessary.

    You will also want to choose the right method for the size of your dog and the size of your car. The final piece you should look into is safety ratings. There are many products available, but not all offer the same protection and meet high safety standards. Research can help you be sure that the product and brand you are buying will provide the security you are looking for. Some recommended options include:

    • Dog Crate - A dog crate is one of the safest solutions. It works for dogs of all sizes as long as the crate can fit in your car. This is safest when you can tie the crate down to prevent movement. A car crate should be relatively snug to prevent movement during a collision, giving your dog enough space to turn around and lie down. There are crates available specifically for cars that have high crash test ratings if you are looking for an additional level of safety.
    • Dog Car Seat - Car seats are an option for small dogs, generally under 15 pounds. They do not offer much security, but can keep your dog more comfortable in the car which might limit movement. The car seat straps over the headrest of the seat and provides a surface for your dog to sit. This elevates him so that he can look out the window while you travel.
    • Dog Seat Belt - A dog seat belt is a harness that clips into a seat belt buckle. This gives your dog enough range of movement to settle where he wants and sit up to see out the window, but prevents him from moving further. A seal belt can also help during a crash, but you will want to be sure you are using it correctly to prevent injury.
    • Backseat Hammock - A dog hammock loops over the headrests in your backseat and the headrests of your front seat to create a lounging space in between. There is still enough space in most cars for a dog to jump forward between the seats, so it may not be the right option for every dog. As an additional bonus, the hammock can help protect your seats and carpet from fur and mud.
    • Seat Divider - A seat divider spans the distance between your front seats and often extends up to the ceiling of your car. They are typically made of mesh or metal grid. This is a reliable method of keeping your dog in the backseat, but finding one with the correct fit for your vehicle and installing it is often more challenging than other methods.

    If your dog runs around in the car out of anxiety or experiences motion sickness, some of these solutions may also make your dog feel more comfortable and confident. A crate, for example, can provide a sense of safety and keep their attention forward so they feel better while in the car. Regardless, you both will be safer for your adventures together.