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How to Keep Your Dog Safe While Driving

Petmate Academy

October 27, 2022

Dogs are like family members, and we want to keep them safe while driving just as we would our children. Unfortunately, many dogs are injured or killed each year when left unrestrained in a moving vehicle. In this post, we’ll share some tips on how to safely transport your dog in the car.

1. Always Keep Your Dog In The Backseat

As tempting as it may be to have your dog ride a shotgun with you, the safest place for your pup is in the backseat. While they may seem like harmless passengers, it’s important to remember that dogs can pose a safety risk when riding in the car. Dogs can be a distraction when you’re driving. They can also be injured if they get into an accident. That’s why it’s important to always keep your dog in the backseat and secure them with a harness or carrier. It’s made specifically for use in vehicles that are available as well, such as vehicle restraints and vehicle pet barriers. Items like these help secure your dog in case of an accident and ensure that your dog does not come between you, your attention, and the car you driving.

2. Ensure Your Dog is Comfortable

While it’s important to make sure your dog is securely restrained in the car, you also don’t want to make them so uncomfortable that they’re miserable for the entire car ride. The best way to strike this balance is to choose a dog seat belt or dog car harness. This allows some movement while still keeping them safe and under control. This way, they’ll be able to sit, lie down, or even stand up without putting themselves at risk.

3. Don’t Let Your Dog Stick Their Head Out Of The Window

It’s understandable that you want your dog to enjoy the ride when you’re driving. There are several dangers associated with letting them stick their head out the window. They could be hit by debris kicked up by other cars or get hit by a tree branch that’s sticking out in the road. If you have to come to an immediate stop or swerve to avoid hitting something, your dog could easily fall out of the window. In addition, the wind can cause serious ear and eye issues. While it may seem like a fun idea, it’s best to keep the windows rolled up or slightly cracked. This will keep your dog can stay safe during the car ride.

4. Pull Over if Your Dog Needs Your Immediate Attention

When you’re driving, it’s important to stay focused on the road and not get distracted by anything else. This can be difficult if you have a dog in the car with you, as they may need your attention at times. If you need to tend to your dog for any reason, it’s important to pull over where it is safer. This way, you can give them the attention they need without taking your focus off the road. If possible, try to find a public parking lot to pull into, so you don’t need to worry about speeding traffic. Keep in mind that even a moment of distraction can lead to an accident, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

5. Emergency Kits

As any dog owner knows, our furry friends are prone to accidents and illnesses, just like we are. While we may be prepared for minor cuts and scrapes at home, it’s important to also be prepared when you’re on the go with your dog. It’s a good idea to keep an emergency kit with first aid supplies for your dog in the car. If your dog happens to get injured or becomes ill, you’ll have the supplies you need to provide treatment until you can get to a vet. Your emergency kit should include items like gauze, bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, scissors, and a dog-safe pain reliever. With a little forethought and preparation, you can help ensure your dog stays safe and healthy on the road.


Driving with your dog can be a lot of fun. It’s important to take the necessary precautions to keep them safe while on the road. Check out our selection of travel products for dogs at Petmate, where we have a wide selection of helpful products to make car rides with your dog safe and comfortable.

Safe travels!

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