7 Ways to Secure Your Dog in the Car

How to keep your dog safe in the car.
By The Bark Editors, July 2017, Updated March 2020
7 travel safety tips - car seat restraints for dogs

Illustrations by Budget Direct Car Insurance

Your dog is a member of your family, and it can be fun and convenient to take him with you when you hit the road. Unfortunately, without careful preparation, you may be putting him in danger. What can you do to ensure pooch has a safe journey?

Perhaps the best solution is a doggy seat belt. Most cars weren’t designed with dogs in mind, so your regular seat belt won’t fit him. Buy the right car dog harness, though, and you can keep any sized dog safely strapped up in the back of your car. This should also ensure he doesn’t go poking his head out the window. We all know how much dogs love to feel the breeze through their fur, but it’s actually pretty dangerous. He could get struck by a flying object, or even jump out.

Checkout this infographic brought to you by Budget Direct Car Insurance. The infographic shows the range of options available to keep your dog sage where he’s supposed to be in your automobile—and points out some other safety issues you might want to consider.

There’s no need to leave pooch at home if you’ve taken every precaution to make him safe and comfortable in your car. Dogs love to be outdoors and among their people—why not take him on your next trip?


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How to Keep Your Dog Safe in The Car

Have you ever driven away in your car, only to see your dog pining in the rear​-view mirror? These tips ensure you never have to leave them behind, while still keeping them safe.

Here are ​seven options to secure your dog in the car​.​

 fit a dog harness seat belt


​1. Fit a ​Dog ​Harness ​Seat ​Belt​: ​P​erfect for well​-​behave dogs, the harness secures your dog and one position with a strap that plugs into the seat belt. Make sure​ ​your dog doesn't chew through the harness mid-journey.

How to Fit:
- Slide the car seat belt through the dog seat belt loop and buckle the dogs in.
​- ​Place your dog on the car seat and connect the silver clasp to your dog's harness.
​- ​Adjust your dog's seat​ ​belt so it's secure and comfy.

 attach a zipline dog harness

​2. ​Attach a ​Zipline ​Harness​: ​Designed for active or young dogs that struggle to settle, the zipline restrains your dog while allowing them to move around. Make sure​ ​to use them in conjunction with a dog harness

How to Fit:
- ​Hook the zipline into the rear passenger​'​s seat belt tab and seat belt.
​- Tug each seat belt to ensure they are in the correct locked position.
- With the seat belts locked, remove all them from the zipline.

 put your dog in crate

3. Put Your Dog in a Crate: Great for confident and relaxed dogs, the crate ensures your dog is safe, comfortable and secure. Make sure​ t​he crate is large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around ​in.

How to Fit:
​- Find the right size of the crate for your dog and car.
​- ​Place ​the c​rate in ​the boot​ (hatchback style cars & trucks) or in the back seat​ of a sedan​.
​- ​Cover the crate with a blanket to help your dog relax.

 get your dog a car carry box

4​.​ ​G​et ​Y​our ​D​og a ​P​lush ​C​arry ​B​ox​:​ Perfect for small anxious pups, this elevated box gives them a good view of their owner and the surroundings. Make sure you use it in conjunction with a dog harness.

How to Fit​:
-​ Place the plush carry box on the back seat. ​
- Put your dog in the harness and attach it to the carry box.

 fit a guard in the trunk

5. ​Fit a ​D​og ​G​uard in the ​B​oot​/Trunk:​ Ideal for the canine traveler who likes to see you and move around​, the​ guard prevents your dog from being thrown forward an accident. Make sure​ ​that you get a guard that bolts to the floor and roof of your car so it can't be knocked out of position

How to Fit​:
- Find a dog guard the will fit your car.
- Bolt the guard onto the back of the rear car seats.
- Lock the guard to the inside of the roof (follow the instructions provided with your guard).

 provide a back seat hammock

6. Provide a Back Seat Hammock: Perfect for older dogs who may want to lie-down, the hammock protects them from falling off the seat and stops them climbing into the front. Make sure you get one with a non-slip covering so the hammock doesn't slide off the seat.

How to Fit:
- Lay the quilted side onto the back seat and insert the anchors between the back and base of the seat.
- Attach the fasteners to the rear and front headrests.

 install a backseat barrier

7. Install a Back-Seat Barrier: Well suited to larger dogs that struggle to relax when restrained, the barrier keeps your dog on the back seat should you brake suddenly. Make sure the barrier is securely attached before setting off.

How to Fit:
- Remove the car headrests.
- Slide the headrest post through the D-rings and reattach the headrests.
- Attach the bottom corners of the barrier to the seat using the hooks or clips provided.


6 Tips for Being on the Road with Your Dog​

1. Schedule Plenty of Stops: Let your dog stretch its legs, go to the toilet, and burn off some energy.

2. Start With Shorter Journeys and Build Up: Some dogs get motion sickness.

3. Don't Feed Whilst Driving: Feed your dog at least three hours before your trip.

4. Don't Let Them Hang Out of the Window: Also, it's not good for dogs eyes as it can dry them out.

5. Don't Give Them Treats on the Journey: Your dog could choke if she eats on the move.

6. Always Have the Air-Conditioner on: Cars can get very hot for dogs; keep the car well ventilated.

Get the full infographic below!

dog car travel solutions for safe travel