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By Carol Besler-Snell on 06/20/2016

how to keep your dogs safe in the car

How to Keep Your Dogs Safe in the Car

If you have a dog, going on car rides may be something you do often. Many dogs love car rides because it involves getting out of the house, seeing new things, and going someplace new to have fun. Going someplace with your dog on your lap may seem like an OK idea, but it’s not. Just like kids, dogs need to be restrained and in a safe place at all times while the car is moving. Here are some tips to keep your dog safe on car rides.

Crash-Tested Crates

Crates are the best way to ensure your dog’s safety when traveling in your car. Select the right size for your dog, and make sure that it is certified to be safe in a crash. Plastic and aluminum crates that are reinforced with fiberglass are the best because they are made of more durable materials. Also important when picking a kennel is to choose one that allows adequate air circulation. Being in an enclosed space, dogs often pant, which can make them get warm fast. If you choose a kennel that has large enough holes or vents, your dog will be able to breathe, and cool down, faster. When using a kennel, it’s a good idea to use bungees to securely attach the kennel to your cargo area, ensuring the kennel won’t go flying in a crash.

Crash-Tested Seatbelts

There are lots of options out there for dog seatbelts. Some come with harnesses and separate straps that loop into your car’s seatbelt system, while some actually clip into the seatbelt itself. Some newer versions on the market just include a harness, which you use with your own seatbelt. When looking at different options, make sure that the seatbelts have been crash tested and will prevent the dog from flying forward in a crash. In addition to protecting your dog, you want to ensure that you, the driver, will not be injured by a dog flying forward.

Pet Barrier

Pet barriers are available in different sizes for SUVs, minivans, and wagons. They are designed to give your pet room to move and stretch while remaining safely contained behind the car’s rear seat and off your upholstery. Pet barriers are ideal for long-distance trips because your dog can stretch, move around in a limited space, and sleep.

Close Windows

Although dogs can look awfully cute with their heads hanging out a car window during a ride, this can be unsafe. A dog may sustain an eye injury from a foreign object being blown into an eye. Some dogs also get tempted to jump out of the car window, which can cause extreme injury to bones, teeth, or other body parts. This can be especially true of dogs who do not go on car rides often and may be stressed out by them. If the only time you take your dog in the car is to do something your dog considers unpleasant, such as going to the vet, he or she may want to get out more than you know! So closed windows can keep the dog safe.

Be Aware of Heavy Objects

Before a car ride, take a look and see if there are any heavy objects than may cause your dog harm in an accident. Tie down or remove any such items that may cause injuries. Keep in mind that your car may have to weave or stop suddenly, causing objects to fly into your dog.
Dog safety in the car is not always a topic people give a lot of thought to. While car rides may be fun for you and your dog, safety should always be your top priority.

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