Should I Restrain My Dog Inside My Vehicle When Traveling?

Should you restrain your dog inside the vehicle when traveling? There are many safety factors to consider when traveling with your dog. Common sense tells us driving with a pet inside the vehicle has its risks. According to studies approximately 20% of all injury crashes involve distracted driving. Another 2010 study shows that 2 out of 3 owners engage in distracted driving behavior when traveling with a pet.


An unrestrained animal creates distractions and during a crash becomes a projectile most certainly resulting in the animal’s death. Let us say for a moment the dog wants to sit in your lap. Now you are distracted and possible restricted in your ability to move freely should defensive maneuvering be required. Consider for a moment the outcome should your pet get down on the floor board where the drivers feet are. Now you have obstacles impeding the use of the pedals. It’s not difficult to see these outcomes are not favorable.

When you slam on your brakes with an unrestrained pet in the seat next to you, what is the first thing you do? Most people try to grab the pet or hold them in place causing a distraction from the event at hand. What happens when the pet is moving around; pacing, panting, whining, what do you do? Most people turn to petting or trying to calm the animal. Whatever it is you do, make no mistake about it, you are distracted.

There are few ways of protecting a dog riding in the bed of a truck. You should consider tying them in to avoid having them jump out or fall out. During a rollover or serious accident nothing will save their lives, except maybe pure luck. Some people may argue that tying them in would be unsafe because the animal loses the ability to jump to safety during an accident. But experts claim animals do not possess reasoning powers so even if they could decide to jump, the outcome depends on the strength, athletic ability and training of your pet. Whatever your choice is, the overall risk factor to the pet’s health is higher when you elect to do nothing at all.

So it seems obvious that inside the vehicle is the safest place for the dog to be, but it doesn’t end there. Placing your pet in a carrier does no good if the carrier is not secured down. Imagine the impact of that carrier flying around in a vehicle like a woman’s purse. Only the carrier will most likely be 4 or 5 times heavier! There is a wide variety of securing devices available for dogs. Even car booster seats that raise small dogs up to see out the windows come with options to secure your dog in place. The best option is to use a restraining harness on pets at all times and find a way to secure carriers to prevent movement during a crash.

Keep yourself safe; keep your passengers safe; keep other motorist safe by always paying attention to your driving and not the pet. You have two really good options; first, leave the pet at home where they are sure to remain safe. But if your pet enjoys the ride and you want them with you, practice responsible pet ownership habits. Properly restrain your pet. It does not matter their size, to ensure everyone’s safety, all pets should be restrained inside a vehicle at all times!

As avid animal lovers it is one of our goals to spread the word about the importance of properly protecting your pet during travel. At it is our goal to provide a wide selection of car seats that can provide the safety needed to ensure safe travels. Check out our wide variety of styles and colors of dog car booster, console and lookout seats today. All seats ship free! If you have questions about this subject please feel free to use the Contact Us page on our website.

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