Car Safety For Dogs

Dogs, especially in today’s society, are a member of the family. This makes the topic of car safety for dogs an utmost concern for many dog owners questioning the best way to travel with their 4 legged friends. We are not here however to tell you the best way to travel with them but to suggest various ways that enhance your car safety for dogs. 

General Car Saftey for Dogs

To know the best ways to enhance your car safety for dogs you must first acknowledge the unsafe places for them. For starters, we have our lap sitters. The next spot of concern is your passenger seat. Lastly, the bed of the truck is seen all too commonly. This is why… 

While it is cute and comforting to have your dog sit in your lap it is a huge safety concern. Not only is your dog in a vulnerable position when in your lap but they then work as a distraction to you.  In the passenger seat, your dog is at risk of impact with the airbag which is meant to protect adults. The bed of the truck poses many risks for your dog. They become very vulnerable in collision scenarios and are also at risk of running away following one. It is also possible that your dog could jump out of the bed of the truck while moving. The lack of confinement lastly exposes them to being hit by passing objects such as tree branches and or debris from the road. 

While keeping your dogs from being seated in ways that create risk for you and them, there are additional safety precautions to take. One is child locking your car’s windows and doors. These are important because your pet could accidentally or unintentionally roll the window up and or open the door. Last but not least, don’t leave your dog unattended in the car. Temperatures in the car rise at exponential rates which can put your dog at risk of heatstroke and death. Now, let’s jump into preventative car safety measures for dogs. 

Car Safety for Dogs
Odin the Mal practiced car safety measures the entire way to the family camping and off roading trip.

Preventative Car Safety Measures

There are many marketable accessories to aid in traveling with your dog that can be found at a number of stores. However, not all of them are meant to achieve the same outcome. Let’s break car safety for dogs down. 

Distraction Prevention

As mentioned previously, distraction is just as much a risk as a collision can be. This is because distraction can result in a collision. However, the accessories sold that aid in distraction prevention will not provide the most car safety for dogs upon collision. The keyword here is most. The most popular accessories in this category are your hammock or “seat cover”, the car seat, and the barrier. The lack of protection is a result of only minimizing movement. They don’t prevent it as a harness would. These accessories aid in keeping your dogs where they belong without restricting them. They are most recommended for your more calm dogs that will lay down allowing for safer travel.

Crash Protection for Dogs

When talking about car safety for dogs this is the gold standard. Protective safety measures are to help keep your pet from sustaining an injury or worse during a collision or accident. For these products, you’re looking at harnesses, crates, and in some cases carriers. That being said, there are many manufacturers of both of these products and not all are crash tested and certified. When discussing the magnitude of the force in a collision it is a straightforward calculation based on weight, speed, and the distance it takes to stop. In a typical 30 mile-an-hour head-on crash, a 50-pound dog flies forward with an impact force of 1,500 pounds. This is why it is so important for your gear to be crash tested and certified. Be sure to check out the list of crash-tested and certified accessories for your car developed by The Center for Pet Safety.

Car Safety for Dogs Informational Chart
Car safety general practices overview.

Finalizing Car Safety for Dogs

With all that being said, it is still important to plan for the worst. If it is an option for you, it is highly recommended that your pet is under an insurance plan. A common concern for many dog owners questioning the best way to travel with their 4 legged friends. Be sure to practice general car safety for dogs, and from there build on your safety measures. 


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