keep-your-dog-safe-in -the-car

Let’s face it, your family dog loves going for a ride in your car. Every time he hears the jingling of car keys, he probably charges for the door like Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter of all time. While having Fido along for the ride may be exciting and always a bit of fun, your concern should always  be how to keep your dog safe in your car.

Not So Harmless Fun

We’ve all seen the images of dogs riding carefree, head out the window, or even sitting in their owner’s laps. While this looks like a lot of fun, it’s quite risky. A dog riding with his head out the window can be hit with debris causing serious injury. He could even cause a visibility issue when you are looking at your mirrors leading to an accident. A dog riding in your lap can also be distracting. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting over 1,000 car accidents a day in the US being caused by distracted driving, the risk is very real.

Keeping Your Dog Safe in Your Car

Restraining Your Dog

If you should get into an accident, there are numerous ways your dog can be hurt and injure you. He can be injured when the airbag deploys. If his head is outside the window, he can suffer from dangerous whiplash. Furthermore, an unrestrained dog can become a projectile exerting more than 500 pounds of force. Restraining your dog is the best way to keep him safe when the car is in motion as well as prevent him from becoming a distraction to you.

Restraint Options

Although there are many restraint options available to keep your dog safe, you’ll need to decide which works best for for you and your canine friend. Many of them fall into one of these categories:

  • Pet Crate:

    While it’s a bit more old- fashioned, a pet crate can still be used to restrain your dog in the car. They offer limited movement and may take up a lot of space, but your dog will definitely be safe.

  • Pet Seat Belt:

    A pet seat belt is a relatively new concept to restrain your dog while driving. The idea works similar to your own seat belt but provides a harness to strap in Fido. Because the concept is newer, there isn’t much data available to support which seat belt is the best option. Talk to your vet to see if he can provide any insights about which seatbelt he recommends to ensure a safe ride for your furry friend.  He may just tell you to use a pet crate instead.

How do you keep your dog safe in your car?  What has worked best for you and your canine friend?


Dog Days & Cat Naps provides a host of pet care services including pet sitting, private boarding, and dog walking in the Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, St. Augustine, and Gainesville, Florida areas. Our staff include first-aid pet-certified pet sitters.

If your pet needs care while you are at work or traveling, please contact the experts in pet care in Northeast Florida since 2000, Dog Days & Cat Naps, at 904-241-7387. To learn daily pet care tips and receive information about any promotions we are running, “Like” our Facebook page.  

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