Travel Risks You Can’t Ignore with Your Dog

Use safety restraints on your dog when riding in the car.

In a recent AAA study, the third worst driver distractions in cars were pets and loose objects. Even if your dog rides quietly, remember that, in a 30-mile-per-hour collision, a dog can exert a force 20 times its body weight. For safety’s sake, use one of the following three options to confine your dog.

Plastic and metal crates come in sizes to fit all dogs. Be sure to secure the crate by running a seat belt (without a shoulder harness) through the handle of the crate, then fastening the belt so it doesn’t move in case of a sudden stop. 


  • Dogs are safely contained in case of a sudden stop.
  • The dog offers less distraction to the driver.
  • A crate is easier to clean than a back seat in case your dog gets carsick.


  • Crates can break from the force of a dog hitting the side in an accident.

Canine Restraint Harnesses
These harnesses attach to your car’s seat belts to secure your dog; some varieties also attach to a metal support bar at the back of the seat in some models of cars. Look for ones that have metal buckles because plastic can break on impact. Back seats are the best place for this type of restraint.


  • The dog remains on the seat.
  • A harness allows the dog to sit, lie down, and look out the window while remaining safely secured in case of a sudden stop.


  • Some active dogs get twisted in the harness and seat belts.

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