How A Dog Car Seat Protects All Your Loved Ones

dog car seatdog car seat

Why You Need a Dog Car Seat

It is not okay for your dog to roam freely in a moving vehicle.

The overriding need for a dog car seat is so everyone makes it to the destination safely. A dog car seat is not just for your dog’s safety.

Whether you are taking a quick drive to the store, a visit to the vet or a longer day trip, if your dog is travelling with you then you need a dog car seat.

Your dog should be secured and comfortable while the car is moving so the driver can focus on the road and not on the activities in the passenger seats. We’re sure this sounds familiar to all parents who travel with children. All occupants in a moving vehicle should arrive safely.


When You Don’t Have a Dog Car Seat

dog car seat


Your Dog Could Be a Flying Projectile

In the event that the car makes a sudden movement, like braking to avoid an accident, your unrestrained dog becomes a projectile flying through the air. This can injure the dog as well as the people in the car. Dogs are quick and agile so a dog that becomes startled may panic and go into attack mode seeking out the safest spot disrupting all the occupants of the car and not just the driver. And that is why you need a dog car seat.


Your Dog Could Run Into Oncoming Traffic

When your dog is secured in a dog car seat he will be safe when you open the car door. You can safely let him out of the car when you are ready. If you have parked on a roadway or in a busy car park you are in full control of when it is safe for your dog to leave the car.  The alternative could be an excited or fearful dog leaping from the car into the path of other vehicles or other hazards as soon as the car door opens. Keep in mind that even the most obedient dog may become disoriented during travel or in strange places and set off for home. And that is why you need a dog car seat.


Your Dog Could Hide Under the Driver’s Feet

No matter how well you think you may know your dog, you never know how they’ll react if startled by a loud noise or unfamiliar scenes.  A dog left loose in a car, for example, may seek safety under the drivers legs and feet. An irresistible urge to chase down a new smell could inspire your unrestrained dog to jump out of a half-open window. And that is why you need a dog car seat.


Your Dog Could Provide Plenty of Dangerous Distractions

Accidents are increasingly caused by distracted driving. As such, dogs should never under any circumstances be allowed in the front seat with you. Your dog should be confined to the back seat, in a harness attached to the car’s seat belt or in a carrier or crate properly secured to stop it moving about. The driver should be as distraction-free as possible when driving because of the immense responsibility that comes with operating a motor vehicle. This will prevent distractions as well as protect the dog and other passengers in the event of a collision or sudden stop. And that is why you need a dog car seat.


Your Dog Could Collide With ….

This is SIMPLY DANGEROUS. Never allow your dog to place any part out of a moving vehicle.


Your dog does not decide whether he likes to hang out of the window of a moving vehicle. This is simply a dangerous act. Your dog could be exposed to exhaust pollution, airborne road debris and other flying objects and worse, your dog could be clipped by a passing vehicle. Keeping your dog secured in your vehicle with the windows up will prevent your dog putting any part of their body outside the moving vehicle. Once again, a sudden stop to the vehicle can put your dog at greater risk if he is wedged in a window. And that, again, is why you need a dog car seat.


Dog Car Seats and Accessories

Most of these come in a range of sizes and colors. Click into the Amazon links below for full details and specifications.



Avoid Dangerous Dog Behavior

The Don’ts of Driving With Your Dog

Never allow your dog to ride in the bed of a pickup truck.

This is actually illegal in some States (for a reason) but that is not the overriding reason not to do it. Your dog could jump out or be thrown out or just be knocked around and injured. Harnessing or leashing him to the truck bed is not advisable either: if he tries to jump out, he could be dragged along the road or the restraint could become a noose. So, do not allow your dog to ride in the bed of a pickup truck for all these reasons.

Avoid placing your dog in a camper or trailer while it’s moving.

Not only are there more bumps and movement in these but a quick act of stopping the vehicle to avoid an accident could have your dog thrown about like a rag doll.

Never leave your dog in a parked car.

Even if the windows are partially open and you’ve locked it. The temperature inside a car can place your dog at risk for heatstroke and possibly death even on mild days. On very cold days, you are placing your dog at risk of hypothermia.


The Do’s of Driving With Your Dog

Make sure your dog is wearing a collar/harness and identification

A dog collar and ID tag or a dog collar and micro-chipping.

Be aware that once you have left your home your dog’s behavior may change. Your dog can be easily frightened and run off into traffic or to places that are difficult to find when confronted by a strange and busy environment. Your dog’s identification becomes vital should you become separated. A collar with an ID tag or a permanent microchip is essential so that your dog can be returned to his home. By securing your dog in the car you are in control. You have time to secure your dog with his leash and exit safely. You are prepared and your dog is safe.

Travelling in a moving vehicle is NOT a natural state for a dog
dog car seat

It is not a natural state for a dog to be in a moving vehicle so start slowly.

Your dog will need to acclimatise to travelling in a moving vehicle. It’s not a natural state for a dog. A dog’s reaction can run the entire gamut from excitement to car sickness to fear so you must prepare your dog for travel with good training. Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer will work with you and your dog to gently and calmly train your dog to be safe and comfortable in a moving vehicle.



Driving Longer Distances With Your Dog

Start Slow

Do these two look happy about being in the car?

Take your dog on short trips to get him used to the unfamiliar environment, sights, sounds and movement of the car. You need to check that your dog is happy with this type of transport. If you discover that your dog suffers from travel sickness, it’s probably best to find out on a short trip. Speak to your vet about how to deal with this.


Dog Crates

When travelling with your dog for longer periods, to vacations or dog events, you should consider a more suitable dog car seat like a dog crate. Our Guide to Crates for Dogs and  DIY Dog Crates explains how a dog crate can work for your dog.


Dog Travel Crates & Cargo Barriers

Most of these come in a range of sizes and colors. Click into the Amazon links below for full details and specifications.


Schedule Regular Stops

Remember to stop for plenty of toilet breaks to avoid accidents in the car. Also make time for some on-lead exercise outside of the vehicle, in a safe and secure area. Even well-trained dogs can become exuberant and unpredictable in a new, exciting environment. Keep your dog on a leash when in an unfamiliar environment so that your dog is secured if he takes fright at any unfamiliar sights or sounds.



Travel Delays

Dog Car Seat

Be prepared for a travel delay, including getting lost or a road block. When travelling with your dog take along extra food and water. Your dog should not go hungry or thirsty or eat human food (usually sugary snacks) which may not be suitable.


Dog Treats – Yum Yum!

To keep your dog on the right track with ongoing training make sure you’ve always got some treats on hand!



dog car seat

Make sure that your dog is healthy enough to travel. Check that vaccinations, worming and flea treatments are up to date before setting off. Make sure you have enough of your dog’s prescription medication to see you through the time spent away.


First Aid


Driving longer distances with your dog requires some preparation for the unexpected. A basic Dog First Aid Kit is essential. Click here for our recent article on preparing a First Aid Kit.




dog car seat

Before you travel, find out what forms and certificates you need. Check the laws that apply to transporting by road in the relevant States. Did you know that some States require you to have a certificate from your vet before entering the State?


What to Pack

dog car seat


  • Your dog’s regular food and dog treats. Don’t forget a can opener if your dog eats canned food.
  • A dog bed and/or a dog crate to sleep in at your destination. Did you know that crates for dogs come in all shapes and sizes and will increase both the comfort and safety of your dog.
  • Food bowl and water bowl. Always carry enough bottles of fresh water in case you can’t find a tap.
  • Collar/harness and leash.
  • Your dog’s favourite toys. Make sure you read our article on Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Toys.
  • Pack your dog’s regular grooming equipment. Include a towel in case your dog gets wet.
  • A ‘pooper scooper’ and plastic bags to clean up after your dog.
  • Any required medications (including car sickness medication prescribed by your vet).
  • A First Aid Kit.


Dog Car Seats and Accessories

Most of these come in a range of sizes and colors. Click into the Amazon links below for full details and specifications.

Dog Travel Crate Pads

Most of these come in a range of sizes and colors. Click into the Amazon links below for full details and specifications.


Training Is Always The Answer

At DIY Dog Projects, we believe that teaching your dog good behavior is the most important and most rewarding project you can do with your dog. We hope this article has helped you understand how important a dog car seat is to the safety of everyone when travelling. If you need more help or if you’re struggling to be in control of your dog’s behavior, click on the Doggy Dan Online Dog Trainer link below and let him be your guide.


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