dogs driving and dog car travel - never leave a dog in a car unattended
Looks lovely but never leave a dog in a car unattended please!

Dogs driving and Dog car travel - updated 2020

I’m going to tell you about dogs driving and dog car travel. If you love and care for us, it just makes sense that you want us to be safe and comfortable in your car or vehicle.

The first thing you should know is that in some states in the USA, the United Kingdom and Australia there are road laws about pets and dogs in cars that will cost you a lot of money and maybe your licence if you don’t follow them. In the USA a lot of law-makers don’t see our protection, or driver protection as being so important.

I hope you love us enough to make sure we are always safe but if you want to know if your states needs you to use a dog harness by law, this link is very good

Think about us dogs in cars please!

We think you humans are a bit crazy if you travel with us un-harnesses or un-crated. It’s dangerous for us but if you stop quickly or if you’re in an accident, a little dog in your car can become a very dangerous missile! We could kill you too!

The American Humane Society estimates that 100,000 dogs die from riding in truck beds alone every year. Over, 100,000 dogs dead and that doesn’t include the dogs that die from jumping out of open windows or dogs injured in collisions because they had no restraint. It doesn’t need to happen!

Driving with dogs

Little Malt talked about driving with dogs “happy Car dogs” in her introduction to dog training. These are very good tips on how to get us dogs to love the car and what to do if we get travel sickness. Maybe you could check it out again on this link.

dogs in cars - keep your dog in the back -
We are not made to travel in the front seat and an air bag can kill us.

Dog Car travel

Here’s a list of all the things you may need for driving with dogs.

Dog travelling kit

My human has a little bag in the back which contains: –

  • travel papers (rabies certificate is necessary for going to some states)
  • A fold up bowl
  • my leash
  • a poo scoop
  • plastic bags
  • grooming supplies (brush and comb)
  • water bottle, some food and a bag of treats
  • travel sick pills and some ginger treats
  • a favorite toy
  • Paper towels, a damp cloth in a plastic bag and a stain and odour remover in case of accidents.

I also always wear a comfortable collar with a contact ID tag.

Important for drive dogs

Before a long trip, give us a light meal 3 or 4 hours before because nobody likes travelling on a full stomach!

A dog must never be left in an unattended car, particularly in hot weather. It doesn’t take long for a car to overheat and kill the occupants on a hot day!

Car travel – dog restraints

We must be protected from injury in case of an accident and if we are secure, other passengers in the car have protection from dogs flying!

Reviews of safety restraints

Here is a list of things you must have for your dog in a car. You don’t need all of them, but please buy at least one restraint for your buddy.

If you click any of them, it will take you to a page of reviews and recommendations plus further information on the best one for your dog.

 There are many excellent safety restraints you can buy for comfortable safe travel and you should find the recommendations on the page links above helpful in choosing the best for your dog.

Please also never forget some basic rules of dog car travel

Never leave your dog alone in a car, particularly in a hot day or even warm day. On a 30C day (that’s 85-degree F), the temperature inside a car will quickly rise to 40C (103F) degrees in just 10 minutes even if the window is left open slightly. In just 15 minutes at this temperature a dog can be left with brain damage or even die. In winter, cars work like fridges and there are many cases of dogs freezing to death after being left for a short time in a closed car.

  • We dogs should never travel in the front of a car. Just a small accident or bump can set off an airbag which can kill a dog. Apart from that, we might get bored and decide to play with the driver because we don’t really understand the danger of a driver being distracted from the road ahead.
  • Don’t feed your dog just before a long car trip, this is asking for trouble.
  • Please don’t let us hang out the window! Yes, most of us love the feel of the air on our face and we get quite excited with the speed, but it only takes a tiny bump from another car or being hit by a flying object and we’ll be seriously injured or killed.
  • Finally, make sure we are safe and restrained just in case some other road user, who is not as skilled as you, causes an accident.
dog with head out of window -
Never let your dog travel with it's head out of the window. Really bad things can happen but even one little stone in the eye can mean blindness.

Basic planning and some basic safety means the whole family pack can have safe and enjoyable car trips

A dog that loves the car means you can spend a lot of more fun times with us and go on lots more fun adventures. Be prepared, little preparation and organisation can make it easy and fun for all. A few necessities in a dog travel kit with a few safety precautions to stop accidents and injury and we there will be few problems with car dogs.

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Car dogs further reading

Dogs driving and dog car travel - Summary

A little preparation and a little planning can go a long way for happy and safe car journeys with a dog:-

(1) Prepare a little dog travel kit and keep it in the back of your car, then it’s quick and easy every time you go in the car.

(2) Never feed us before a car journey

(3) Don’t leave us unattended in a car, NEVER -but especially if it is hot or cold outside.

(4) Always use a seat belt harness or dog restraint

(5) Don’t allow us to travel in the front of the car – ever!

(6) We should never be allowed to have our head outside a window – that’s just asking for trouble


‘Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.’

(Author Kinky Friedman)

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Read all about it on this link.

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Little Malt has a very good review of how to protect your dog (and your car) with the best type of seat covers for your truck, sedan or SUV. We look at the very best covers and why for back seats, SUV’s and wagons and trucks.
We don’t like front seat covers much because we shouldn’t be there but we look at bucket seat dog covers and front seat covers for trucks.
Read all about it here.