Properly Restraining your Pet in the Car Can Save Lives

How safe are our dogs when we take them into our vehicles? No matter if it’s a day trip, a trip to the market or thousands of miles our pets have the right to be as protected as we are while in the motor vehicle.

I happened across this helpful reminder about keeping our pets safe and thought I would pass it along.  It addresses something many of us need to attend to. If you agree with this article you might want to look for a product that can assist you in keeping your pet safe and happy while traveling.

Properly Restraining your Pet in the Car Could Save their Lives & Others

For years, Americans have been buckling up. The proper use of lap/shoulder belts have been shown to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat car occupant s by 45 percent while reducing the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent. Further research has shown that unbelted rear-seat passengers increase the death rate of front-seat passengers by up to 5 times. We buckle up ourselves and children to ensure all passenger’s safety, or do we? What about our pets?

A pet that is not properly restrained in a vehicle is a danger to itself and other passengers in the vehicle. Even the best-behaved pet travelers can get overly excited or frightened while riding in a car. This behavior can easily distract the driver, causing an accident. An unrestrained pet can potentially become a flying projectile in the event of a sudden stop or accident – a lethal danger to the pet and other passengers in the vehicle. Unfortunately, instances of pets being thrown through the windshield are all too common in severe accidents.

The dangers are more likely than one may think. A vehicle involved in an accident traveling at only 30 mph can cause a 15-pound child to create an impact of 675 pounds. Similarly, a 60-pound dog can cause an impact of 2700 pounds. Imagine the injury such an impact would cause for the helpless pet as well as other passengers.

Responsible pet owners need to take heed of the dangers of unrestrained pets. Many pet owners believe restraint is not necessary for “around town” travel – the bank, the post office, the pet store. However, this is when most accidents occur.

Yet another important consideration is that in the event of an accident, a frightened pet may run out into traffic while rescue workers enter the vehicle to assist passengers. Or it may attack those who are trying to help. There are many pet restraint options available. Pet safety belts, pet car seats (with built-in seat belts), travel crates, and vehicle pet barriers are some excellent options. Selecting the proper restraint option, best suited for your pet is essential.

Whatever method you choose to properly restrain your pet in your vehicle, be sure to give your pet ample time to adapt. For example, if you choose a travel crate, place the crate in your home and put some of your pet’s favorite toys or blanket it. Allow your pet to go in and out of the crate at its leisure. Eventually, put the crate in your vehicle and place your pet in a crate. Start out taking short car rides and gradually increase the time until your pet is comfortable. If you choose a pet safety belt, let your pet wear the harness around the house. Allow them time to feel comfortable in the harness prior to strapping them in the car. Similar to the travel crate, start out with short car rides and gradually build up. No matter what method of restraint you utilize, back seat or cargo travel is the safest.

In addition to safety, make your pet’s comfort a priority. Just as it’s important for your “seat” to be comfortable your pet’s seat should be comfortable too.

Let’s all do what’s right for our pets. Pets are members of the family and their safety is our responsibility.

Kim Salerno is the President & Founder of She founded the pet travel site in 2003 and is an expert in the field of pet travel. Her popular pet travel site features pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the United States, along with other helpful pet travel resources. Her mission is to ensure that pets are welcome, happy, and safe in their travels.

The picture shown here is obviously not the proper way to secure your pet when it is in the car with you. Find your way to the many sites that offer carriers that can be fastened properly into your vehicle for maximum protection of your special friends.

About The Author

Bill Beavers, brings you pet products that provide improved Quality of Life for You, Your Family and Your Pets.

You can connect with Bill on Twitter or Facebook and follow his latest projects. For Fun, Facts and Love for our pets follow this blog for informational and entertaining posts and cool tips.

4 Responses to “Properly Restraining your Pet in the Car Can Save Lives”

  1. Bill,

    I had to drop a note! That is probably the cutest picture I have seen in recent weeks. In fact, I laughed my (bleep) off.

    If I had a pet, I would definitely be getting the proper restraints from your site. I wouldn’t want a pet flying around the inside of a car in the event of a crash.

    Thanks for the smile.


  2. Hi Cenay,

    Just wanted to thank you for your comment and I’m happy you enjoyed the post. It makes me smile too each time I see it.

    All the best,


  3. I also enjoyed the picture.
    But in our Rural area too many
    people do not Realize the danger of the unrestrained pet, especially dogs in the back of Pickups.
    We see them mangled on the Road often
    .-= Chuck Bartok´s last blog ..Are you Dreaming Big Enough? =-.

  4. Hi Chuck, I thought there was a law passed a few years back prohibiting the “pick-up dog” without being tied down. Actually I seem to remember that they aren’t even supposed to be in the back at all but then, I didn’t go look it up. Just my memory. Appreciate your comment.

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