What is the safest way for a dog to travel in a car?

If you own a dog throughout the dog’s lifespan, chances are that at some point in time you might end up in a car accident while your dog is inside the car. If it’s a classic bumper bender in a car park, securing your dog is not necessary, but if it’s a higher speed accident, it is extremely necessary.

For a spot of context, a ‘’regular’’ dog weighs in at about 60 pounds, and you’d think that such a dog can not possibly be any danger to the rest of the car occupants in an event of a crash. But a 60-pound dog traveling at 35mph is actually a 2700-pound missile that can easily kill you and your dog.

All weighty objects inside a car should be safely buckled, it does not matter if it’s a dog, a human, or a TV set. So, if you want to skip such endangering situations, be sure to secure yourself and the dog whenever you hit the road.

And the best way to do so is to buy a dog harness seat belt or a zipline harness. If you have a smaller dog, you can also put it into a dog crate and secure the crate with a dedicated crate belt. If you own a bigger dog, a trunk dog guard or a back-seat barrier is also a good idea.

Dog harness safety belt

A dedicated dog-harness belt is one of the most popular dog-securing methods currently available. A dog harness safety belt is equally effective at securing a smaller, mid-size, or a larger dog. It’s worth mentioning that this is mostly aimed at well-behaved dogs.

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If you opt for a dog harness, make sure you secure the dog safety harness belt with the regular car safety belt. Connect the silver clasps to your dog’s harness and place the dog onto the seat. Make sure your dog has enough room to sit comfortably and that it does not chew through the belt.

Dog zipline harness

A dedicated dog zip line harness is fairly similar to the regular dog harness belt, but this method is more effective if you own a younger dog that has problems settling down. This method secures the dog perfectly while leaving enough space for the dog to move around.

You ought to use this method in conjunction with the regular dog harness in an effort of securing your dog as best as possible. After you hook the zipline onto the seat belt itself, make sure you tighten it up properly so it does not leave too much space for the dog to move around.

Dog crates

A dedicated dog crate is perfect for smaller dogs as it does not require you to restrain the dog directly. But this method is mostly aimed at smaller, more relaxed dogs. Be sure that the crate you are using is large enough, and that the dog can easily stand up and turn around inside the crate.

Be sure to connect the crate to the seat belt to make sure your crate does not fly around. If your dog is nervous while inside the crate, you can also use a blanket to cover the crate while traveling.

Trunk dog guards

If you own an estate or any other kind of hatchback, a dedicated dog trunk guard is a great option for larger breeds as it enables the dog to freely move around in enough space, but it also secures the dog and the rest of the occupants if something goes wrong.

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If you opt for a trunk dog guard, be sure to secure the guard as best as possible so it can’t be pushed out of position. This is also a perfect method if you own multiple dogs as long as they are not too large and that the space available is not too restrained.

What should I do while traveling with a dog?

First and foremost, make sure you do a regular stop from time to time so your dog can stretch its legs and do all the necessary dog stuff such as going to the toilet and disbursing extra energy. Some dogs sometimes do get motion sickness, so make sure you start with shorter trips first.

You shouldn’t feed a dog while on the move because there is a great chance your dog might choke. Be sure to feed your dog a few hours before you go on a trip. It’s also not a good idea to let your dog hang out of an opened window because it is not safe for the dog.

FAQ Section

How do dogs fly?

If you want to bring your dog with you on a flight, there are a few procedures you have to do depending on the company. But, if your dog is small enough, you can carry it as regular carry-on luggage.

But some companies only transport dogs in dedicated luggage cargo areas. For this, you are going to need a large enough dog crate and the dog should be sleeping throughout the entire flight. Make sure you do your research before you go on an airplane as different companies sometimes have different procedures.

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What happens with dogs on an airplane layover?

Most layovers are less than 3-hours long, and as such, the dog will be transferred with the rest of the cargo from one airplane to the other if you are both staying on the same airplane. If the layover is longer, you are likely to see your dog again.

Nevertheless, such procedures are always dependant on the company in question. So make sure you inform yourself about flying with a dog, especially so if you are making longer layovers.

What cars are good for dogs?

If you plan on regularly traveling with a few dogs, a larger estate or SUV should be the car for you. Something like a Land Rover Discovery or a Volvo V60 are both spacious enough for dog transportation in the trunk or the rear seats.

Make sure you opt for an appropriate trunk dog guard, harness, or crate that can easily fit inside your car. And you should always opt for a hatchback of any sort as closed trunks should never be used for transporting dogs or any other pets.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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