Some dogs might love car rides, but others might get very nervous, especially if they associate the experience with going to the vet clinic for vaccinations or treatments.
In this article, we’re looking at five convenient ways of securing your canine friend in your car, whether you have to take a short or a long drive. We’ll also include some info on why restraining your dog can be essential for both of your safety.
5 ways to secure your dog in the car
You probably know that driving without a seat belt is illegal, and you want the best for your canine companion, too, right? Besides making sure that the dog listens to you, there are some tips for keeping your dog as safe and sound as possible.
1. Use a safety harness
These days, there are many models and brands of safety and seat belt harnesses specifically designed for dogs. In fact, they come in different sizes depending on your dog’s weight and breed.
Such a harness is usually equipped with a loop at the back or a latch that you can use to attach the regular strap of the seat belt that you already have installed on your back seat, for example.
The best thing about pet safety harnesses is that they are usually made to be compatible with most seat belts, no matter what automobile you drive.
Since you also want to keep Fido’s comfort in mind, you should consider getting a harness that comes with padded straps. They should also be wide enough to cover a decent area of your dog’s body, but the tips or margins should never feel uncomfortable to touch.
2. Keep your dog in a crate
Crate training is not as common in other countries, but in the United States and Canada, many pet parents teach their dogs to get used to kennels when they are young.
Large and metal crates are the best option you have at your disposal, even if they might cost a pretty penny. So long as the kennel is the right size so that you can place it on your back seat or bench or even in the back of your truck, you do not have to worry about Fido being put in danger.
One of the most important factors to mull over when purchasing or borrowing a crate for traveling in your car with your dog is the ventilation. The kennel needs to have enough space in its structure to allow air to go in and out so that your dog can breathe properly.
Soft-sided crates are another option, but they are significantly less safe when compared to their hard metal counterparts.
3. Get a dog barrier
Dog barriers can be made of a variety of materials, but the whole point of using one is that you will effectively separate the first half of your car from the second. Therefore, your dog will comfortably sit on your back seat bench and will also see you as you do your driving.
While some separators are made of metal (so they look like a crate wall or side, for example), others are made of nets. So if you do get in an accident, your dog will be pushed forward into the net, not into something that’s thick and hard.
4. Consider using a back seat hammock
Back seat hammocks are the best choices for dogs that are suffering from conditions that make it difficult, if not impossible, for them to stand. They are also great for dogs that have just undergone surgery, so they should not move a lot so as not to put any pressure on the incision area.
Senior dogs appreciate back seat hammocks the most and also do large dog breeds.
Most back seat hammocks for dogs come with fasteners that can be attached to the front and rear headrests. Therefore, they’re rather easy to install, and most importantly, they’re comfortable for your pooch, too.
5. What about a zipline harness?
A zipline harness works much like a dog safety harness, with the main difference between the two being that the first is primarily designed for young and active pets. The zipline can be conveniently hooked into the seat belt tab of the rear passenger seat.
You’ll be happy to know that this restraining method works both for small and medium dog breeds.
Why should you secure your dog in the car?
There are many things that can go wrong during a car drive, even if your dog is with you or not. If you want your canine friend to be protected at all times, you should consider using one of the products that we have mentioned.
Also, we’d like to note that different states have different laws. For example, in New Jersey, traveling in a car with a dog that is not restrained in any way is illegal and considered animal cruelty. If you go against the law, you might be risking a hefty fine or, in some cases, even spending time in jail.
In Arizona, Maine, as well as Connecticut, you can be fined for traveling in a car with an unrestrained dog or with your pooch in your lap. So, besides keeping your pet safe, securing your dog in the car can also save you some serious legal and money problems.
A final word of advice
No matter the type of techniques that you decide to pick from those that we have mentioned in this post, you should consider investing in the best safety equipment out there.
There are many low-priced products in this category, but you shouldn’t go for the cheapest one available. It might actually make more sense to get a used crate if you can’t afford a new and expensive one, so long as you go and see it and decide that it’s safe and rugged enough to be used during any car ride, no matter how rough.
If you decide to go down the safety harness route, it might be a good idea to pick a product that has been crash tested and even certified as being safe by several organizations in your country.