Safely Transporting Your Dog in the Car

car rides

Our dogs are our babies right?  So, we can totally get away with the “baby on board” signs.  But are we transporting our dogs as safely as we should?  Here’s an article on the common methods of car transport for dogs, and what I, Dr. Sammy the Dog Trainer, recommend for safe pooch carpools.


There are a ton of contraptions out there for sale that seatbelt your dog into the buckle receivers of cars.  Some of the leashes are long and some are shorter in the hopes it will actually keep your dog still.  Generally speaking, your dog should be in the back seat, even if they have a seat belt on.  There are also bucket type thingies your dogs can sit in. 
None of these really are my favorite.  They are tangle monsters and a hassle.  A few of them have been crash tested by their companies, so if that’s important to you, that is something to consider.


Crates have long been considered the safest method to transport dogs.  The downsides to this method of transport are A. If you’re in a crash, it can be hard to get your dog out. B. Your dog crate might not fit in your car. And C. It’s no fun.  No hanging your head out the window with your face in the breeze…I mean, I like doing that.  I don’t want to deprive my dog of that experience.  Just as a side note, make sure your windows are rolled up enough your dog can’t squeeze out.  That would be tragic.  And dogs sometimes, being the creative being they are, will do unexpected things.

What I do

My dog, Whuffo, is too large to even try to sit in the front seat.  His butt is so big that his front feet have nowhere comfortable to go. So, it goes without saying he has to ride in the back.  Here is a picture of what I do to keep him in the back and out of harm’s way:

As you can see I have a metal barrier between the driver’s side and the back of my Jeep.  They make cloth and bungy cord ones too, but Whuffo decimated those.  The metal one is the only one to stand up to the Whuff-test.  It’s kind of nice because I can carabiner gear to it, including lights for camping and water.  I have an attachable water dish there for long car rides so Whuffo can get his drinks without spilling.  Hanging your head in the breeze is hard work.  Just make sure if you’re car camping, to turn off the child safety locks before you climb back there to sleep.  Otherwise you might find yourself locked in the back of your Jeep and having to disassemble your barrier to get out.  How do I know this?  Yeah…

Still room for a shepherd head to snoodle Mom with kisses
I like this method because it gives the best of both worlds- the safety of the crate while still allowing ample room for the dog to move about and stick his head out the window if so desired.
And that’s my two cents on safe transport.

Dr. Sammy the Dog Trainer

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