How to Best Secure your Dog in your Car

Why would you want to keep your dog secured in the car?  He likes to wander around, lie down, and stick his head out the window; he sure won’t want to be restricted!  There are two reasons to do so:

  1. For his own safety, much as you wear a seat-belt.
  2. So that he does not become a deadly projectile, killing or injuring you.

What is the best way to ensure that your dog is safe when travelling in your car, in the event of an accident or even a sudden stop?

ABC (Good Morning America) ran a 3.5 minute segment on the effectiveness of harnesses sold to supposedly keep your dog safe should there be an accident.  They also looked at the use of crates in cars as many people also confine their dogs in crates when they travel.  Watch the segment and you will probably be surprised.  While crates do confine your pet, they are not effective in protecting them   Your dog would still travel forward at the speed of the car before impact, and hit whatever is in front of them, likely the crate and the back of a car seat.  Results would be catastrophic if the car was travelling even a reasonable speed.

dog car Safety harnessHarnesses on the other hand would appear to offer protection.  However, as they are unregulated, there is no standard.   The results of tests conducted by the Center for Pet Safety show that many harnesses didn’t even perform well enough to qualify for the crash test, and of the ones which underwent a simulated crash test, only one manufacturer was a “Top Performer”, with all the others rated “Not Optimal”.  This was all pretty scary to me, as I have been using confidently a harness which clips into the car seatbelt.  Not so safe, it seems!

Sleepypod is the one company which had good results, and you can see their Safety Program and their winning Clickit Harness.

I for one will be doing some shopping for a new car harness!