In case of a car accident, airbags are a great safety device. Most cars nowadays have airbags for both the driver and the front passenger. But remember, airbags are made for adult people, not children or dogs. So if your dog rides in the car, be sure they are in an area that does not have airbags.
Most cars with passenger side airbags in the front seat only go off during a high impact car accident if there is someone sitting in that seat. Check with your car manufacturer to verify whether the passenger side airbags trigger automatically or only if there is a certain amount of weight in the seat. If your dog is a small dog, you may not need to worry about the airbag because the airbag sensor might not register anyone sitting in that seat. This is a safety feature that was set up to protect a child sitting in the front seat since you do not want the airbags to deploy for small children.
However, to be certain that the airbag does not deploy when your dog is in the front seat, check your car manual to see if the front passenger airbag can be disabled. If not, have your large dog ride in the back seat or have your small dog sit in a pet booster seat which hangs from the headrest of the seat rather than sits on the seat itself. With the pet booster seat hanging from the headrest, the airbag may not trigger since there is no weight in the seat. You can also push the seat as far back from the airbag as possible.
You want to keep your dog safe when they travel in the car, but you’re not sure which pet travel products are best. There are several things to consider when looking for the right pet auto safety device for you and your dog, and we can help. Review the list below along with a short description. Feel free to review our blog further for more detailed information on the various pet travel products.
*Prefers Confinement – A pet travel crate is a good pet auto safety method, but a pet travel crate which is strapped in is even safer.
*Hates Confinement – You can use a dog seat belt which has a long tether or keep your dog in the back with a pet auto barrier.
*Likes to Look Out the Window – For small dogs, this may be difficult. Your small dog can be strapped into a pet booster seat. For bigger dogs, use a dog seat belt rather than a pet travel crate.
*Likes to Relax – For a dog who likes to relax, use a dog seat belt with a short tether which is safer than one with a long tether – or have them ride in a pet travel crate. You can also consider a pet booster seat for a smaller dog.
Level of safety: The safest pet auto safety methods are the dog seat belt or pet travel crates which are strapped in with a kennel restraint system. Pet auto barriers are not as safe, although they do provide some level of protection in that they keep the dog from distracting the driver and they prevent the dog from getting thrown forward into the front in the event of a car accident.
What Kind of Vehicle and How Much Room: Metal pet auto barriers are too big for a car. However, there are canvas barriers and pet nets which are perfect for cars. If you have a big dog, using a crate may not work, or if you have a big crate in the back of an SUV, you may have difficulty in strapping the crate in. A dog seat belt will work in any vehicle with car seat belts.
Ease of Use: Pet auto barriers may require installation. A pet booster seat or pet travel crate may have some set up, but not as much as a pet auto barrier. A dog seat belt has the lowest level of installation. It may be difficult when you first put it on but once you get a hang of it, it is super easy.
Crate With Straps vs. Dog Seat Belt: A study has not been done to see which method is safer. However, a dog seat belt is safer than a crate which is not strapped in and a crate is safer than a dog seat belt which has a very long tether. The shorter the tether on a dog seat belt, the safer it is for the dog.
You may already be familiar with Outward Hound pet supply brands. The Outward Hound brand provides products which combine quality with affordability. Their products are well made and relatively inexpensive as compared to other brands. Outward Hound makes dog backpacks, dog toys, water bowls, dog life vests, pet strollers, and more. But did you know that they also make pet travel supplies too?
Pet Auto Safety.com provides a number of pet travel supplies with the Outward Hound brand. Both the Kyjen Pet Booster Seat and the Outward Hound Pet Booster Seat are Outward Hound brands. Both of these pet booster seat styles provide security for your dog when he travels in the car while at the same time giving him a “boost” so he can see out the window.
Other pet travel supplies from Outward Hound include the Front Seat Barrier which keeps your dog from climbing over the console to the front seat, the Window Bumper which provides padding for the dog who likes to put his head out the window, the Extend-A-Seat which covers the floor of the back seat to give your dog more room, and the Port-A-Bowl which is an easy carry food and water bowl for when you take your dog for long walks or long travel trips.
Check out these and other great pet travel supplies at Pet AutoSafety.com. Feel free to use discount code, petblogger, to get 10% off your order.
Some dogs absolutely love to ride in the car and some absolutely hate it. If your dog is one who hates riding in the car, there are a few things you can do to help him learn that riding in the car is not such a bad thing and potentially enjoyable.
Help Alleviate Car Sickness
Some dogs may hate riding in the car because they get car sick. A dog who is car sick may not show obvious signs such as vomiting. But he may drool a little bit more than usual. If you suspect your dog hates the car because he gets car sick, make sure he is sitting in the center of the back seat. This may help alleviate some of the motion sickness. Have a window rolled down so that your dog gets fresh air. Encourage your to sit up and look out the window. Being able to look out the window tends to help some dogs acclimate to the motion. If your dog is too small to look out the window, consider getting him a pet booster seat. A pet booster seat may help with your dog’s motion sickness, and it will definitely help with your dog’s safety.
Have Fun In The Car
Another thing which may help with motion sickness is to help keep your dog from thinking about the motion. Have someone sit in the back seat with your dog and distract them with a fun toy and/or treats. Make the car ride as fun as possible. Perhaps the person sitting in the back seat with your dog can also help encourage your dog to look out the window by pointing and saying, “What’s that?” in a happy voice. Have them point out fun stuff like other people. If your dog does not get aggressive when they see other dogs, point out other dogs as well.
Take Small Trips
Get your dog used to riding in the car by starting out with short trips. If you need to go to the bank or to a fast food drive through, take your dog. Take your dog anywhere where you will not have to get out of the car and leave your dog unattended. Small trips may help your dog come to understand that nothing bad happens on car rides.
Go Someplace Fun
It may also help to take you dog somewhere fun. This way, your dog learns to associate car rides with going somewhere they will enjoy. Take them to visit their favorite doggy pal. Take them to the park or to the dog park. Go to a restaurant with an outdoor patio which allows dogs. Or take them to the pet store. You don’t have to buy them anything at the pet store for your dog to enjoy visiting the pet store.
Don’t Console Your Dog
The above are tips on things you can do to help your dog enjoy the car ride. But here is a tip on what not to do. Do not soothe your pet. Do not give them a reason to think there is a reason that they need to be consoled. Ignore your dog if they seek you for comfort. And ignore them if they whine or cry. Don’t use harsh words against them. Instead, if your dog whines or cries, talk to them in a happy and encouraging voice. Or just sing happily out loud like nothing is wrong.
With some time, more experience, and positive reinforcement, your dog can learn that riding in the car is not such a big deal. And maybe they can even learn to love to ride in the car. When that happens, traveling with your dog will be much more fun for both of you.
We recently received correspondence from one of our customers who purchased the Skybox Pet Booster Seat. Pam from Rockford, Illinois wrote us a wonderful letter about her experience. With her permission, we are sharing it here. First, she wrote about why she purchased a pet car seat. Her little Chihuahua mix named Salsa loves to ride in the car and he loves to look out the window. She used to let him ride in her lap until one day, she had to make a sudden stop. Poor Salsa got tossed into the gap of the steering wheel. Pam couldn’t turn and ended up hitting a car in front of her which she might have avoided if she had been able to swerve. Salsa was terrified and yelped for several minutes. Pam couldn’t leave the scene to take Salsa to the vet, so she comforted Salsa as best as she could while she exchanged information with the other driver and waited for police. But thankfully, by the time Pam got Salsa to the vet he was okay.
The next day, Pam bought our Skybook Pet Booster Seat. Pet Auto Safety.com had lots of car seats to choose from, but Pam chose the Skybox Pet Booster Seat because its orange color is close to the same color as Salsa. It works great, she said. At first, she thought Salsa wouldn’t like it because he was so used to sitting in her lap. But Salsa was far more interested in looking out the window than in sitting in her lap and the Skybox Pet Booster Seat allows him to do this in comfort. The Skybox Pet Booster Seat has a strap which attaches to the back of Salsa’s harness, so Salsa can look out the window in safety and Pam can feel comfortable knowing that Salsa is safe.
Thanks, Pam, for sharing this information with us! If you have a story about an incident with your dog in the car, share it with us. You don’t have to buy any of our products in order to share your story, but we would like to hear that your dog now rides safely in the car.
Pet Auto Safety.com proudly features pet safety products made by Kurgo. These products include the Tru-Fit Smart Harness, the Wander Hammock, the Backseat Barrier, and the Skybox Pet Booster Seat. The Skybox Pet Booster Seat was recently featured on King 5 News in Washington state. NASCAR driver, Reverend Jeff Knight, took his dog, Reggie, for a test drive in his race car. Reggie, of course, was harnessed in safety in the Skybox Pet Booster Seat. Click here to watch. Then go to Pet Auto Safety.com to check out the Skybox Pet Booster Seat.