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  • Marcy Santos

How to Keep your Dog Safe in the Car

Your dog is a member of your family, and so of course you want to take him with you on all your road trip adventures. However, without adequate preparation, you might be putting your dog in danger. In some states, traveling without restraining your dog is considered a violation of animal cruelty laws. So, how do you make sure that your four-legged best friend is safe in the car?

There are several style options you can choose from when deciding how to secure your dog in the car. Be sure to check that the device you select is approved by the Center for Pet Safety, which has a list of all crash test certified brands.

Safety Harnesses

One option that you might select is a safety harness and buckle. This item allows you to buckle your dog into the seat belt, much like you belt yourself into the car. The harness is designed based on the same engineering used for rock climbing harnesses and provides a chest pad to reduce potential stress on your dog’s sternum.

Travel Carriers and Crates

If your dog is more comfortable with more security and stability, you might consider the option of a dog carrier or crate. A hard sided travel crate can secure your dog in the car while still giving him enough room to stand up or turn around if necessary. These kennels can then be secured into the vehicle to provide extra protection.

Although it is tempting to let your dog go unrestrained in the car, this is a risky decision. A loose dog can distract the driver and cause an accident or be ejected from the car during a crash.

Here are some tips for your next road trip with your pup:

* Leave time for lots of rest stops. Stopping will allow your dog time to go to the bathroom and stretch his or her legs.

* Start with a shorter journey first to get your dog used to traveling in the car. You can build up to taking longer road trips over time.

* Don’t feed your dog right before the trip, as he or she may then feel nauseous. Try to feed your dog several hours before you leave.

* Make sure to keep your car the appropriate temperature so that your dog does not get too hot or too cold.

Have you taken your dog on any road trips? Where did you go?


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