Many dog parents take their pooch with them wherever they go—the grocery store, the park, and even the beach. Most parents don’t realize that it’s important to keep your dog safe in the car, just as you would any other passenger. Yes, that goes for every drive – no matter how long or short.
Risky Seats for Dogs
If you let your dog ride in the passenger seat, you could put him at risk of being harmed by an airbag designed to protect humans. However, if your car doesn’t have passenger airbags, and your dog must ride in the front seat, you can let him sit in front with you so long as he is well restrained.
Dog car harnesses are one way to properly restrain your dog when he’s riding shotgun. However, before you go and buy any dog seat belt for your pooch, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not all created equal. Some of them can cause your dog to fly off the seat. So, do your research on which one is best suited for your type of dog.
Be sure to get a safety harness with thick, padded straps to spread the collision force as extensively as possible. Leashes should be short and fastened at the dog’s back (not the neck). Your dog should be able to easily sit straight or lie down without feeling remarkably restrained.
A lot of pet parents let their small dog sit or stand on their lap while they drive? Unfortunately, this can be pretty distracting to you and to other drivers on the road as well. In addition, your dog could unexpectedly block your view of the road, as well as your view of upcoming drivers around you. To end this hazardous danger, Hawaii has passed a law banning pets from sitting on the driver’s lap while driving.
Safer Places for Your Dog To Ride
One of the safer ways for your pooch to ride with you in a car is in a dog crate, preferably one made from sturdy material like aluminum. Some boxes even have additional padding for extra impact protection. No matter which kind you opt for, be sure that the crate is large enough for your dog to comfortably stand, move around, rest, and have proper air-conditioning.
No matter how short or long the drive is, always bring water and a toy to keep him relaxed and happy. Being in a crate may also diminish motion sickness in dogs. Place your box on the back seat floor or in the storage/trunk, never on the back seat. You can also strap down the crate, so it doesn’t move at all.
Be sure that your traveling buddy always wears a collar with an ID tag with your contact information if he escapes during an incident.
Keep those in mind if your dog regularly rides unrestrained in the car with you:
- Fasten your windows and engage the child-lock mechanism. Your dog could figure out how to turn down the window by accidentally pressing the button, especially if he notices other pets outside.
- Never put your dog in the bed of a pickup truck. He could jump out and injure himself in a rear collision. Dogs who ride in the truck are also at risk of being hit by random objects like debris or branches.
- Restrained or not, never, ever leave your dog in the car alone with no AC, especially in hot weather. Even if your dog has everything in the car, the temperature inside a closed vehicle can cause heat stroke or death.
Benefits Of Dog Seat Belt Harness
- It makes sure your dog is secure. Your dog’s safety is essential, especially when riding in a car. Using a dog seat belt for car travel can help avert injuries if you get in a car accident or even just veer off or brake too quickly.
- Drive distraction-free. Not only can dog seat belts keep your dog more protected, but they can also help avoid your dog from becoming a dangerous distraction while driving. Many dogs like to try climbing into their parents’ laps or jump into the front seat while driving, which can be highly dangerous and cause an accident. Keeping your dog restrained is the best way to help eliminate these distractions.
- Keep your dog inside the car at all times. Some dogs love having the windows down when in the car alone. However, if they see other animals or something that excites them, it’s easy for your dog to jump out and follow this new friend. Not only could you lose your dog, but this could also cause dangerous obstacles for other drivers on the road. Having a seat belt will keep them from hurting themselves and others.
Types of Dog Seat Belts
A harness is by far the safest dog seat belt option available. A harness provides more control and will not pose a risk of your dog choking. Harnesses are designed to fit securely on your dog and feature clips or straps for added safety.
Leash Attachment: Clip-in
Clip-ins are the most common form of dog seat belts. They can clip either directly to your dog’s collar or harness. The most significant distinction here is that it fastens directly into the car’s seat belt buckle for a secure and handy grip.
Leash Attachment: Loop Strap
A Loop strap is another effective restrictive leash that clips to your dog’s harness or collar. This type of harness features a loop at the other end attached to the car’s headrest.
Best Dog Seat Belt
- PAWABOO Dog Safety Harness
- Vastar 2 Pack Adjustable Pet Car Seat Belt
- Kurgo Car Safety Dog Harness Seat Belt
Taking your dog on car rides with you doesn’t have to be dangerous. Make car rides safe and fun again, get a reliable dog seat belt. They can make car rides fun for both you and your buddy.