Most dog owners can’t deny that one of their dog’s favorite things to do is ride in the car. We’ve all seen dogs with their heads hanging out of the window or even sitting in their owner’s lap. Just like other human passengers, owners need to think about their dog’s safety in the car. Your furry friend may enjoy sitting on your lap as you drive, but this can cause a huge distraction. Think about what would happen should you get into an accident and the airbag was deployed? Luckily, there are ways to keep your dog safe in the car without sacrificing their love of the ride.
One of the most common ways to keep your dog safe is by keeping them in a kennel. For smaller breeds, a carrier bag can be used. The kennel should be big enough that the dog can stand up and turn around in. You don’t want a small kennel because then the dog will feel trapped and will dread car rides. The kennel should not be blocked to allow enough air to reach your dog. Also, make sure that the door is latched before driving to prevent your dog from escaping and roaming the vehicle. As an owner, and driver, you want to make sure that your dog is always safe when riding in the car.
Some dog owners may refuse to use a kennel for transporting their dog due to their large size or a small vehicle. Fortunately, there are dog seat belts and harnesses to help keep your pet in place. The seat belt in your car goes through a strap on the harness. Depending on the harness, there is usually enough slack to allow the pet to either sit or lay down. There have been critics that say the harness can harm a pet, especially if a car accident were to occur. In fact, companies that produce harnesses aren’t legally required to test them for the dog’s safety before putting them on the market1. As with any other product, read the reviews and do some research to make sure that you are buying the right product for your dog.
If you are traveling a larger distance that requires several hours of travel, be prepared for a few stops. Your dog may need to relieve himself while on the trip, so bring the leash. Most rest areas do have designated areas for pets. Also bring a dish for water, and food depending on how long the trip has been.