Seat belt for your dog? You betcha

Dogs are on the go. Whether they’re hopping in the car to go to Home Depot, the vet, or venturing further. Perhaps, taking a long road trip to the beach, a mountain retreat, or going to visit grandma. Furkids are taking more road trips than ever before.

Pet parents are passionate about their four-legged sidekicks and want to include them in whatever and whenever they can. The good news is more are taking measures to ensure their pets are secure when taking any kind of road trip — be it long or short.

“The most important thing you can do to ensure pets safety when traveling is to properly secure them in the car.” TripsWithPets CEO/Founder, Kim Salerno says. “And a pet seat belt is at the top of the list.”

<p><em>istock/Eva Blanco</em></p>


istock/Eva Blanco

Dangers of not securing your pet

Historically, “free range” has been the most common way most dogs travel when riding in the car. That’s right, they simply roam freely – many times even sitting on the driver’s lap. The issue of distracted driving is very real when road tripping with a free-range pup. What’s more, dogs traveling with their head (and sometimes more) out the window is commonplace. Clearly, these are not safe practices. In a car accident at only 35 miles/hour, an unsecured 60 pound dog becomes a 2,700 pound projectile – scary.

In addition, what many pet parents don’t think about is if they are in an accident with an unsecured pet, their pet can easily run out of the car out of fear.  They can become lost or injured by oncoming traffic.

Pet vehicle seat belts 101

One of the best ways to secure your dog in the car is with a special pet seat belt (aka safety belt).

The majority of pet vehicle seat belts/harnesses work in conjunction with your car’s seat belt buckle or strap. They are developed to restrain your pet if you stop fast or get in an accident.

Pet seat belts  are a combination of a harness and a specialized tether. One end of the tether connects either to the car’s seat buckle or the strap. The other end is securely latched onto your pet’s harness. This secures your pet and restricts his movement.

Be sure to always attach his seat belt tether to his harness and never to his collar. The more “heavy duty” pet seat belts come with a harness that is generally safer than your typical walking harness. However, if you opt to use your own harness, you can purchase a seat belt tether to go with it.  Whatever pet seat belt option you choose, make sure it’s vetted for safety. This extra step is well worth the effort.

In addition, always “buckle up” your dog in the backseat of your vehicle.

Getting your pet comfortable

If your dog does not normally wear a harness, you’ll want to get him used to it prior to your first road trip. Allow your pet to wear the harness around the house and/or on walks to make him feel more comfortable wearing it. The next step is to secure him in the car with his new pet seat belt (harness/tether combo). Ease him into it by starting out with shorter car rides before heading out on a longer road trip with your dog.

The takeaway

“The bottom line is that with a little bit of planning, you can save your pet’s life – and have peace of mind knowing that your pet is safe and secure.” Salerno adds, “You secure yourself and your human family members – why not your pets?”

About TripsWithPets

We love our customers and we love what we do! We’ve been helping pet parents travel with their furkids for over 10 years. With over 45,000 pet-friendly accommodations across the United States and Canada, we provide pet travelers with a wide variety of pet-friendly options.

When planning a trip, pet parents go to TripsWithPets for all they need to find and book the perfect place to stay with their pet — including detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities. Helping pet parents plan trips with their pets is what we do!

We are also passionate animal advocates. We support local and national 501(c)(3) animal welfare organizations by raising much needed funds through our annual Partners for Animal Welfare Series (PAWS).  

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