7 Ways to Secure Your Dog in the Car

How to keep your dog safe in the car.
By The Bark Editors, July 2017, Updated June 2021
7 travel safety tips - car seat restraints for dogs

Your dog is a member of your family, and it can be fun and convenient to take him with you when you hit the road. Unfortunately, without careful preparation, you may be putting him in danger. What can you do to ensure that your pooch has a safe journey?

Perhaps the best solution is a doggy seat belt. Most cars weren’t designed with dogs in mind, so your regular seat belt won’t fit him. Buy the right car dog harness, though, and you can keep any size dog safely strapped up in the back of your car. This should also keep him from poking his head out the window. We all know how much dogs love to feel the breeze through their fur, but it’s actually pretty dangerous. He could be struck by a flying object, or even jump out.

Check out this infographic brought to you by Australia's Budget Direct Car Insurance. The infographic shows the range of options available to keep your dog safe where he’s supposed to be in your automobile—and points out some other safety issues you might want to consider.

There’s no need to leave pooch at home if you’ve taken every precaution to make him safe and comfortable in your car. Dogs love to be outdoors and among their people—why not take him on your next trip?


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How to Keep Your Dog Safe in The Car

Have you ever driven away with the sight of your dog pining for you framed in the rear​-view mirror? These tips ensure you never have to leave him behind, while still keeping him safe.

Here are ​seven options to secure your dog in the car​.​

 fit a dog harness seat belt


​1. Fit a ​Dog ​Harness ​Seat ​Belt​: ​P​erfect for well​-​behaved dogs, the harness secures your dog and one position with a strap that plugs into the seat belt. Make sure​ ​your dog doesn't chew through the harness mid-journey.

How to Fit:
- Slide the car seat belt through the dog seat-belt loop and buckle the dog in.
​- ​Place your dog on the car seat and connect the silver clasp to your dog's harness.
​- ​Adjust your dog's seat​ ​belt so it's secure and comfy.

 attach a zipline dog harness

​2. ​Attach a ​Zipline ​Harness​: ​Designed for active or young dogs who struggle to settle, the zipline restrains your dog while allowing him to move around. Use in conjunction with a dog harness

How to Fit:
- ​Hook the zipline into the rear passenger​ seat-belt tab and seat belt.
​- Tug each seat belt to ensure they are in the correct locked position.
- With the seat belts locked, remove all slack from the zipline.

 put your dog in crate

3. Put Your Dog in a Crate: Great for confident and relaxed dogs, the crate ensures that your dog is safe, comfortable and secure. Make sure​ t​he crate is large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around ​in.

How to Fit:
​- Find the right size crate for your dog and car.
​- ​Place ​the c​rate in ​the back of a station wagon or other hatchback-style car, or in the back seat​ of a sedan​.
​- ​Cover the crate with a blanket to help your dog relax.

 get your dog a car carry box

4​.​ ​G​et ​Y​our ​D​og a ​P​lush ​C​arry ​B​ox​:​ Perfect for small anxious pups, this elevated box gives them a good view of their owners and the surroundings. Use in conjunction with a dog harness.

How to Fit​:
-​ Place the plush carry box on the back seat. ​
- Put your dog in the harness and attach it to the carry box.

 fit a guard in the trunk

5. ​Fit a ​D​og ​G​uard:​ Ideal for the canine traveler who likes to see you and to move around​, the​ guard prevents your dog from being thrown forward in the event of an accident. Make sure​ to get a guard that bolts to the floor and roof of your car so it can't be knocked out of position

How to Fit​:
- Find a dog guard the will fit your car.
- Bolt the guard behind the rear car seats.
- Lock the guard to the inside of the roof (follow the instructions provided with your guard).

 provide a back seat hammock

6. Provide a Back Seat Hammock: Perfect for older dogs who may want to lie down, the hammock protects them from falling off the seat and stops them from climbing into the front. Make sure you get one with a nonslip covering so the hammock doesn't slide off the seat.

How to Fit:
- Lay the quilted side on the back seat and insert the anchors between the back and base of the seat.
- Attach the fasteners to the rear and front headrests.

 install a backseat barrier

7. Install a Back-Seat Barrier: Well suited to larger dogs who struggle to relax when restrained, the barrier keeps your dog on the back seat should you brake suddenly. Make sure the barrier is securely attached before setting off.

How to Fit:
- Remove the car headrests.
- Slide the headrest post through the D-rings and reattach the headrests.
- Attach the bottom corners of the barrier to the seat using the hooks or clips provided.


6 Tips for Being on the Road with Your Dog​

1. Schedule plenty of stops: Let your dog stretch his legs, go to the toilet and burn off some energy.

2. Start with shorter journeys and build up. Some dogs get motion sickness.

3. Don't feed while driving: Feed your dog at least three hours before your trip.

4. Don't let them hang out the window: It's not good for dogs' eyes. It can dry them out and it also exposes them to flying debris. 

5. Don't give them treats on the journey: Dogs have been known to choke while eating on the move.

6. Always have the air-conditioner on: Cars can get very hot for dogs; keep the car well ventilated.

Get the full infographic below!

dog car travel solutions for safe travel

Illustrations by Budget Direct Car Insurance