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Pet Protection

Safely Secure your Pup When Riding in a Vehicle

By Camp Bow Wow

It’s a quintessential picture of freedom and bliss, a dog with his head hanging out of a car window, ears blowing back, nose in the air, taking in all the wonderful smells and sights. You’ve seen pups standing on the seat with their paws braced on the windowsill, or even draped across the driver’s lap. While it all sounds so carefree and fun, is this really a safe way for your furry family member to travel? What if you have to hit the brakes suddenly or, heaven forbid, your pup decides to leap out of the window while the car is moving? And what about the difficulty driving with a wriggly pooch wagging around the gear shift and steering wheel? 


Just like for people, car safety recommendations for dogs have changed. Be prepared with some new equipment this year just in time for those vacation road trips. 


First of all, strap your pup in safely by dressing him in a harness that locks into a seat belt. Car booster seats combine the comfort of a cushioned, snuggly dog bed with the security of a tether, allowing your smaller furry family member to look out the window safely. There are many styles to choose from, including several that place the perch right on the console of the vehicle’s backseat, providing a higher elevation for a better view. 

Installation is easy. Place the seat into the car, thread the seat belt through the channel and buckle on the other side to secure the seat, then thread the lap belt into the seat to click into a connector strap that will attach to your pup’s stylish harness. Viola! Your pup is secured safely in a perch worthy of a king. 


You don’t ever have to leave your furry family member home alone —there’s even similar styles for golf carts or bicycle seats. A motorcyclist on Bulverde Road was observed sporting a small passenger recently. His Yorkie was harnessed into a booster seat. The precocious pup was still able to sniff and bark to his heart’s content, yet he remained secured. 


Similarly, a dog large enough to sit on his own can be restrained with the seat belt using a harness. One type combines a shock-absorbing, padded vest with two seatbelt loops on the back. Once your pup is situated on the seat, simply run the seatbelt through the harness loops and click into the buckle. Just like when a human family member fastens a seatbelt, the strap doesn’t tighten except in emergency, so your pup will have the flexibility to change positions – sit or lie down as he feels comfortable. 


What about the dogs you’ve seen bouncing around in the back of a pickup truck? What was once common is now a practice better left to the past. Pups riding in the bed of a truck should be safely secured in a sturdy kennel that’s strapped down tightly. 


If you are interested in knowing more about the most highly rated carriers or restraints that have been tested to prevent injury to a pet should a vehicle crash, seek out recommendations from the leading independent pet product testing group, the Center for Pet Safety (CPS). This organization is serious about its safety recommendations for all types of pet products. They even grade on a point system for specific elements and use high-level measurement tools like digital calipers and high-speed cameras to assess their work.


Find them at


Happy trails! 

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