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Car Safety For Your Pup

behavior modification car safety dog behavior travel safety Jan 02, 2022
Car Safety For Dogs

Car Safety For Your Pup


There are a few different options when it comes to car safety with your doggo. Just putting your dog in the car without an extra layer of security is not recommended anymore. The options can be overwhelming choosing a setup or car product that fits you and your dog's lifestyle. Of course, if you can and have the vehicle space, a crash-tested kennel is the safest way to go when it comes to travel safety. If you have a less than perfect dog, putting them in a kennel or having vehicle space can cause more problems than not. In most cases, I always recommend a car travel hammock with the addition of a seat belt or other layer of safety. 


Dog Car Hammock -

 A good car hammock is worth its weight in gold, specially made for dogs. Dog products with a lifetime warranty are my love languages as a dog professional. A hammock can not only help your dog feel safe but also help protect your interior and seats. Many dogs get uneasy or stressed in the car because of motion sickness or feeling unstable. Rightfully so, put yourself in a dog situation and place it in a moving box that can quickly come to a sudden stop making you fall into the floor or the front seat. Having a hammock is the best option if your dog will be over 20lb as an adult dog. Not only will the hammock make them feel more stable and secured, but it will also help protect your car from those unpreventable muddy dog days. Most hammocks are machine washable and easy to clean if there are spills, throw-ups, or blowouts. 


Doggie Seat Belt -

A seat belt seems pretty self-explanatory, but not all dog seat belts are created equal. Especially if you have a high drive breed that will chew their way out of a seat belt in .5 of a second. Some dogs can quickly learn to unbuckle the seatbelt or do it accidentally. The dogs that have no clue they are seventy plus pounds. I have seen more dogs accidentally unbuckle a seat belt than anything. If you get a seatbelt, I recommend purchasing one and adding a carabiner to the buckle side. Some seatbelts go over the headrest or zip line seat belts. I tend to secure my Kurgo seatbelt at the headrest with a heavy-duty carabiner on both sides if you are worried about your pup unbuckling it. I also recommend clipping the seat belt to a front clip harness to help prevent your dog from being thrown forward in the case of a fender bender or car accident.


Dog Car Barrier - 

The car barrier is usually the second to the third piece of management I use for my dogs and training dogs. I always have one barrier overlapping the hammock to prevent dogs from surfing on the middle console. You can have two car barriers to enclose the backseat or cargo space in some cases. Console surfing is the best-case scenario, but I have had dogs be terrified of the car over the years and attempt to sit in my lap or crawl where the pedals are. This incident was before I learned to have multiple ways of management in case the first two fail. The car barrier is great for any dog you prefer not to be in the front or drooling down your neck. The barrier added to the rear of an SUV can help create a safe space for long travels, especially if they are anxious. I always recommend a barrier, comfy bed, and desensitizing music by iCalmpet.


Dog Booster Seat -

 If you have a smaller dog, then a doggie booster seat will be your best friend. Most small dogs will not be secure in a hammock, and a booster seat with an added seat belt can be just the thing to help your pup enjoy car rides safely. The booster seat can also help your pooch look out the window to prevent car sickness. Most small dogs beef 



Puppy Hack: If you have a puppy experiencing car sickness every time they go for a ride. I recommend slightly rolling down the windows equal amounts in the backseat and driver-side window. Rolling the windows down will help keep the airflow going and no air pressure built up that can make puppies a little queazy. The other thing will be not feeding at least 2-3 hours before a long road trip. 


I have been fortunate over the years that none of the car accidents I have been in my dogs haven't been with me. In 2017 my car was totaled due to an impaired driver, and I will never forget seeing Zena's dog food being spread all over the highway in a mess of shattered glass. I was so happy that she was in doggie daycare that day. We can't control other drivers, but we can try to make it as safe as possible for the worst-case scenario. 

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