Ways to keep your dog safe during car rides

Dog with head out the window of a moving car
September 18, 2020

They say that every dog has their day, but considering dogs are known for their unending loyalty, unconditional love, comfort, and protection—they deserve more than one. That's why in 1928, a World War I veteran named Captain William Judy declared the fourth week in September as National Dog Week.

The purpose of this week is to celebrate the incredible contribution dogs make to enhance life—especially the human experience. It's also a week that focuses on making a positive impact in the lives of dogs, helping to return the favor for the gifts they give us every day.

Before you ride off with Buddy to celebrate, demonstrate your love for your dog—beyond belly rubs and special treats—by caring for his comfort and safety while riding in your vehicle.

Create a routine

Creating a routine when your dog rides in the car can help minimize confusion, create efficiencies, and maximize safety. Not only for your dog—but for everyone in and around your vehicle. Here are some things to do each time you ride with your dog:

  • Assign a seat: While it seems fun to adventure with your dog in your front seats, it's best to assign a special place for your dog in the back half of your vehicle. This protects your dog from driver/passenger side air bag injuries and protects you from distractions.

  • Secure doors: If your vehicle doors don't auto lock when you put your car in drive, make sure you lock them. This is especially important if your dog isn't traveling in an enclosure within your vehicle. With the doors locked, your dog can't accidentally open them and get hurt.

  • Check windows: Your dog might love riding with the wind in their face. If that's the case, be sure to maintain a safe opening that doesn't allow room to jump out if they're not restrained. If your car has window-locking capabilities, lock them in place.

Secure your dog

If your dog's like most, they'll want to be glued to your side. So, sitting Lucy in the back seat and telling her to stay may not work. Here are some inexpensive gear options to help protect you and your dog by securing her in a specific location in your car:

  • Crate: You might already have a dog crate in your home. Use the crate in your car to keep your dog from roaming around. If your dog is anxious about traveling in the car, the crate—because it's familiar—can also provide comfort.

  • Mesh divider: If your dog's crate is too big and clunky, a movable, mesh divider is an easy option for creating a barrier between the front and back half of your car.

  • Doggy seat belt: Several types of restraints specifically designed for helping keep dogs safe are available. These attach your dog's collar, harness, or other equipment to a seatbelt in your car to ensure your dog stays in one spot.

These tips not only help to keep you and your dog safe while riding in the car, they help to build a greater foundation of trust and love between you and your furry family member. Now you're all set to drive to your dog's favorite sniffing spot, a doggy play date, or a fun pet store to honor your dog during National Dog Week. Stay safe and enjoy the celebration!

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*Data accuracy is subject to this article's publication date.

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