Make Trips Safer with a Dog Car Seat

A dog car seat can make car rides safer for both you and your dog, by confining him to a safe space, keeping him from your lap and reducing danger in case of an accident.

Dangers of Driving with Dogs

Like children and cell phones, dogs can be an added distraction when driving. Dogs who aren't well-behaved may distract you by chewing on items in your back seat, barking out the window or jumping on your lap while you're driving.

Even well-behaved dogs need to be secured when driving, because of the dangers to them. Airbags can cause damage to your dog just as they can to a young child, and he may fly out the windshield if he's sitting on your lap or standing on your front seat console.

An unsecured dog can become a projectile during impact, potentially causing damage to you, your dog and other family members in the vehicle. He also may escape the vehicle in an accident and run away in fear, or guard you from emergency personnel who may need to act quickly in saving your life.

Because of these dangers, it's important to secure your dog while driving, even if you're only headed across town.

Dog Car Seats

Dog car seats come in many sizes and varieties, most of which look like dog beds that you might have in your living room. However, these beds secure to the seat belts of your car, and include a safety belt inside to secure your dog. This way, your dog can be secured in comfort.

The seat can be used as a booster seat in the front seat, raised high enough that your dog can see out the window without propping himself up, or they can be secured in the back seat. There are also varieties that attach to your car's middle console, either in the front or back seat. Many of these models are only available for small dogs, but there are dog car seats available that can hold a large dog or two small dogs.

Securing your dog in one of these seats protects them from the impact of a crash, and keeps them from distracting you while you're driving.

Other Security Options

If your dog isn't comfortable curled up in a designer car seat, simple seat belts are also available to secure your dog during travel. These harnesses attach to the seat belts in your back seat, allowing your dog to roam while the car is moving, while securing them tightly if you slam on the breaks.

Several varieties of harnesses are available for all types of dogs, and any harness that you use on your dog can also serve as a harness if you fasten the seat belt and then hook the harness around the shoulder belt.

There are also nets and gates that block your dog in the back seat. Though these don't protect your dog from impact, they do keep him from flying through the windshield or climbing in the front seat.

No matter which method you use, protect your dog when driving. Car seats, safety nets and seatbelts are available at all local pet stores.