Why You Need to Restrain Your Dog in the Car

Why You Need to Restrain Your Dog in the Car

We can’t understate this: you need to restrain your dog in the car. Even if you want them to roam around freely, safety is your main priority. 

How many times have you gone on a drive and spotted dogs with their heads poking out of a car’s window? Cute, right? Except not really. Although we see this imagery every time we go out and in TV shows and movies, this is actually dangerous. Let’s not forget dogs that jump around in the car or sit on the driver’s lap. 

If driving around with an unrestrained dog is hazardous, then why do so many people do it? Many people fear their pups will become stressed if they’re restrained. Some don’t want to take the magic of riding a car away from their best friend. Regardless of how happy riding in the car unrestrained makes your dog, it’s undeniably dangerous. 

In today’s blog, we’re going to cover the best practices for letting your pooch tag along with you on your adventures. 

Why You Need to Restrain Your Dog in the Car

Where Should a Dog Sit in the Car?

This is a hotly debated question, and there’s no exact answer; however, we believe the best place for your dog to sit is in the back seat rather than the passenger seat. 


Does My Dog Have to Be Restrained in the Car?

Yes, anytime your fur baby rides with you, you should ensure they’re restrained and safe. However, the method of restraint you use for them matters and can be the difference between a safe, happy dog and an upset, uncomfortable one. Although there’s no law that explicitly states that dogs must ride strapped, it’s the ethical choice. 


It’s best to be well-versed in your state’s laws because many of them have ambiguous rules regarding how to transport your dog. Some states, such as New Jersey and Rhode Island, do require dogs to be buckled up!


How Should You Restrain a Dog in the Car?

As we briefly mentioned above, not all dog car restraint systems are created equal, and some are less comfortable than others. For instance, a dog crate or kennel may be an excellent way to secure your pooch in your car, but they’re also likely to increase their stress levels. Some dogs don’t do well in crates or kennels because being in a trapped space can make them feel limited and restless. 


While we think these options are effective, our favorite dog safety transportation method is using a harness and dog seat belt combination! This method ensures your best friend will ride comfortably and securely, with ample room to stretch. 


Do Dogs Have to Be Seat Belted in Cars?

More and more states are joining the cause for dog safety, with eight states trailing the way. The following places require you to harness and strap your dog with a seatbelt:

  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • New Jersey