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.
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:
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
And we’re all for these laws! Especially because they can cause fewer collisions, keeping you, your family, and your dog (who’s also a part of your family) safe. According to a survey by AAA and Kurgo Pet Products, 29% of those surveyed admitted that they’ve been distracted by their dog while driving. Additionally, 65% confessed to having partaken in at least one distracting behavior while on the road with their dog, including:
- 52% of those surveyed reported that they’ve pet their dog while driving
- 17% allowed their fur baby to sit on their lap while driving
- 13% stated they’ve given their dog treats while driving
- 4% admitted to playing with their dog while driving
As you can see, these statistics are alarming because these behaviors can distract drivers, increasing the risk of a crash.
What Can I Give My Dog to Keep Him Calm in the Car?
For starters, if your pup is new to the world of travel, it may be a good idea to take him on short practice drives. If your dog seems reluctant to go for a car ride, it’s likely because he has scary associations with rides, such as going to the vet. It’s crucial to get your canine used to the sensation of riding inside a car so that he’s more at ease in the future.
We recommend rewarding your pooch with treats if he exhibits positive, calm behavior inside the car; this will help your fur baby start forming positive associations with car rides. Once he’s grown accustomed to being inside your car, take him on short trips, such as going to the nearest dog park.
Giving your dog a few toys can also help ease his nerves. After all, dogs are just like small children. Bringing a few toys, especially his favorite ones, will keep him happy and distracted. It also wouldn’t hurt to invest in dog toys that would have to stay in your car. This will help your dog look forward to going for a ride because he’ll know this is the only time he can play with those specific toys.
How Do I Stop My Dog from Moving in the Car?
If your dog isn’t too fond of car rides just yet, another reason could be because they slide around too much. No one wants to ride in a car where they’re just going to be slipping and sliding the entire time! Your dog deserves the same comfort humans receive when they’re sitting in the car. Luckily, you can invest in the best pet seat cover from Plush Paws Products.
Our luxurious seat covers are padded and quilted, providing your dogs and children with a plush feeling. Best of all, they’re made with silicone backing, which is the best non-slip material. Unlike rubber backing, silicone doesn’t budge! We guarantee your best friend will love riding on a dog bench seat cover. Gone will be the days of slipping around.
As a bonus, some of our products come with two harnesses and dog seat belts to keep your pup safe on the road! They can be cozy on your backseat and restrained by the harness and seat belt, allowing you to drive distraction-free.
Plush Paws Products Offers the Highest Quality Dog Products
If you want to take your pal on all of your adventures, then the safe, responsible thing to do is restrain your dog. However, restraints don’t have to be uncomfortable! Plush Paws Products offers the coziest selection of waterproof dog seat covers that are equipped with harnesses and dog seat belts. Take a look at our premium collection to ensure that your dog is always safe and happy.