How to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Car

Sep 21, 2018     |      Sophie's Circle

Some dogs love to ride in a car; others may feel anxious or even nauseous. As a pet owner, you should ensure that your dog’s safety is guaranteed in the car. It’s best to think about this before you have to take your dog to the vet. You’ll want to get the right restraint system for your dog and prepare for a long road trip by taking smaller drives first.

Why Dogs Should Be Restrained

Many dogs enjoy riding shotgun in the car with the window open. There’s something about a breeze blowing in your face when you’re going on the highway that even dogs can’t resist. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you should allow, because it could be dangerous to both of you.

When a dog is allowed to roam in the car, you can’t predict what they might do. They could distract you by nudging your arms for a caress or even crawl beneath your legs. Obviously, this could lead to you losing control of the vehicle, making it impossible to break or turn when you need to.

There are other reasons to retrain your dog. Even if your dog is complacent to sit in their spot, you can’t always drive carefully. If it becomes necessary for you to break hard, an unrestrained dog may be thrown from their seat and get seriously injured. If you get into an accident, the chance is even greater that your dog will get hurt as they’re unable to stay in their seat without a restraining device.

Safety Restrains in the Car

There are many different options for keeping your dog safe in the car. One of the best things you can do is to use a dog crate. You may even be able to use your regular dog crate from home and just put it in the bed of your truck or back of your SUV or van. Some sedans might even be big enough to fit a crate, especially if you can lay the seats down.

These crates come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as big, medium, and small dogs need them. Additionally, the crate is already familiar to your dog and will make them feel safe. Naturally, you must anchor the crate to prevent it from flying about in the car.

You can also get a harness specifically designed to keep your dog in his seat. A harness with a dog seat belt allows your dog to get comfortable in the car seat while ensuring his safety. Depending on the size of your dog, you could possibly get a dog booster seat.

Another option to keep your dog restrained is to use a dog barrier. This prevents your dog from seeking your attention during the drive, which keeps you both safe. Don’t underestimate how distracting it could be to suddenly have a dog breathing in your ear when you’re trying to concentrate on where you’re going.

Prepare Your Dog for Travel

If your dog is new to driving in the car, it’s best to start with short trips. You should schedule their meal about three hours before the drive to reduce the effects of nausea. If you’re going to be in the car for more than an hour, you should also give your dog the opportunity to take a break and stretch their legs. In this way, dogs are a little bit like small children. They can only sit in the car for so long before they get bored. But as tempting as it may be, you shouldn’t feed them on the go to prevent a choking incident. However, when you do stop for a break, you should always offer fresh water.

Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car

Many stores don’t allow you to bring your dog inside. Unless you’re going to a pet store or pet saloon, your dog is probably not welcome. The easiest option is to leave them at home – in a crate if necessary. If you do bring them along for whatever reason, you may have to leave them in the car. You must use your judgment for this. When temperatures are soaring, the inside temperatures of your car can cause suffocation in a short amount of time. Rolling down windows will not help much in Florida, either. It may be necessary to tag-team this problem where one of you stays with your dog and the other one goes shopping.