Car safety when transporting dogs

Discussion of Victoria's TV show, It's Me or the Dog.

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

Post Reply

Car safety when transporting dogs

Post by Paul&Muttley » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:35 am

I saw part of an episode of IMOTD this evening where Victoria instructed the owners of a medium size dog on safety issues on board their boat and also in their car. I fully agree with her advice to have the dog wear a flotation vest on the boat, and also perhaps tethering the dog in a safe place especially when the water is rough or during bad weather or at night.

However, her method of securing the dog in the car did not seem to be sufficient. I did not see all the details, but it seemed that she just clipped a short tether from the dog's collar or harness to the seat belt, to keep him from wandering around or lunging at the windows and causing distractions for the driver. The dog was in a back seat directly behind the driver.

I have a fairly substantial harness that I use for Muttley when I drive with him on the highway or for any significant distance at speeds higher than about 35 MPH. I am not concerned about him distracting me or disrupting my driving because he sits very nicely in the passenger seat and either pokes his nose out the window or just watches the road ahead. He is not reactive toward dogs or people in other cars or walking by. Sometimes he will just curl up on the seat or even on the floor. :lol:

For highway trips, I use the harness, which has a large padded section that covers his chest, and straps clip around his abdomen to other straps on his back. I fasten it snugly, and then pass the seatbelt across his back and clip it securely. He can move around enough to get comfortable, but sometimes I have to stop to make an adjustment, and occasionally he has managed to wriggle out of the harness, disconnect a clip, or even undo the seatbelt. But mostly it seems to hold him securely. :)

The greatest danger I can see would be in the case of an accident or even a quick emergency maneuver that would cause him to slam into me, causing injury or loss of control. In a serious accident, I am also concerned about what the passenger side air bags might do, although I don't have them in my 1989 Toyota Pickup Truck. I would hope that he might slide onto the floor before the air bags deploy, as he might be safer there. But the seat belt and harness might keep that from happening. :(

Anyone have any experience, good or bad, or advice about his important matter?

User avatar
Posts: 5872
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:21 am

Post by Mattie » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:18 am

I have transported many dogs from the pound to rescues as well as transport my own dogs and MHO is that a harness attached to a seatbelt is the safest way of transporting dogs. Twice I have been hit when towing my caravan, 3 dogs on the back seat with harnessess attached to the seatbelt all dogs were safe and unhurt.

Attaching a dog by the collar to a seatbelt isn't a good idea, if you have to do an emergency stop you can damage the dog's neck. I do try have have a wide variety of harnesses for transporting dogs but the very large ones I don't have. Thankfully I don't transport the very large ones often.

Recently my 6 dogs, Bonnie and Tilly in a crate in the boot, they are not as secure as a harness attached to a seatbelt but they are secure. Merlin, Joe and Ellie on the back seat, I fill the footwell with a porch awning as well, with harnesses attached to the seatbelts and Gracie, harness attached to a seatbelt on the front passenger seat.

I arrived back an hour ago from a 100 mile journey towing my caravan, I went up there last Wednesday, again 100 miles. At the end of July we went to Suffolk, 200 miles each way with my dogs like this in the car. All travelled very well but I do stop every 1.5 to 2 hours for a potty break for my dogs and they are offered water to drink.

I have seen a dog that was travelling loose on the back seat of a car go through the windscreen, there were 2 dogs, one was killed outright, the other the vet pts as soon as he saw the dog.

If you do travel your dog in the boot of a vehicle, please make sure that if anyone opens the door you dog can't get out, accidents happen and if you are in one you can guarantee that someone will open the door and your dog runs out very frightened. The outcome of this is usually your dog is run over by another vehicle.

Post Reply