It’s important for your dog to be secured when riding in the back seat, especially on a longer trip. Dog seat belts help keep your canine safe.
A dog seat belt consists of a safety harness with a loop to secure it to the car’s seat belt. The safety harnesses should have thick, padded straps to distribute impact force more widely. The tethers connecting the harness to the animal should be short and attach at the dog’s back, not their neck.
When secured in the back seat, the dog should be able to sit upright or lie down easily. Dog seat belts are ideal for medium- to large-sized animals, although smaller canines could wear them as well.
Travel crates provide a safe way for smaller dogs to ride in vehicles. Crates also reduce motion sickness for the animal. Choose one made from a strong material, such as aluminum, rather than plastic, which is not as strong and provides less ventilation. Some travel crates also have padding to give your pet additional protection and comfort.
Pick a travel crate large enough for the animal to stand, turn around, and lie down easily. The crate must have proper ventilation, too. Do not put crates on the back seat, as they can be better secured on the floor of the vehicle. For additional safety, secure the crate with a strap to prevent the carrier from sliding around in the car.
Putting up a pet barrier behind the front seat can create a safe environment for larger canines. If you have an SUV or hatchback vehicle, you can even install a barrier between the back seat and the open trunk area.
Barriers come in a variety of styles to fit different vehicle types. Available types of barriers include steel cages (which also prevent the dog from chewing or clawing) and mesh nets, which you can install between the front and back seats or between the back seats and the cargo area. Hammock-style barriers attach to the front seat backs and lay over the back seat, creating a flat surface to keep the dog off the back seat floor.
It’s important to note that while barriers will keep your dog in the back of your vehicle, they do not provide a way to secure your canine in the event of an accident like dog seat belts or crates do.