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Dog Travel Safety Restraints Overview

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Travel safety starts with restraining your pet

You and your pet will better enjoy your travel together if you take precautions to keep it safe.

Dog buckled up in car

Hotels, resorts, and airlines have adopted pet-friendly policies that have made it much easier for you to travel with pets. Your travels, however, usually begin right in your vehicle, so your pet's safety should begin there, as well. That's why pet restraint is a safety measure all pet owners should be addressing.

For your mutual safety, your pet should be restrained or confined at all times while riding in your vehicle. Unrestrained, your pet can be a serious threat to you and your passengers, distracting you or impairing your ability to drive. Also, without restraint, your pet can get seriously injured during quick stops, sharp turns, and accidents.

In most cities, there are no seatbelt laws to protect pets - as there are for you and family members - but we hope you agree it is your undeniable responsibility whenever you travel together, whether the trip is to the local grocery store or a cross-country vacation. For the best protection, we recommend that you restrain your dog in a specially designed seat or harness. Most dogs will become accustomed to these quickly. In the event of a collision, cages, crates, or vehicle barriers will provide the best protection for your pet.

  • Seats - The Pet Gear Carrier/Car Booster Seat and the Solvit Pet Booster Seats are designed for small dogs. Both strap securely to your car seat to keep your pet in place throughout the trip.

  • Harnesses - The Car Safety Harness is available in sizes to fit most dogs. It attaches directly to your seat belt holder, and doubles as a walking harness during stops.

  • Fold & Carry Classic Cages can provide strong protection in your vehicle and at your destination. Your pet also enjoys an extra degree of personal comfort in his own familiar enclosure.

  • Crates, lightweight and easy-to-clean, are also a popular choice. With their high, soft sides, a Crate Pad inserted in cage or kennel, will enhance your pet's comfort.

  • Barriers are easy to install in your back seat or deck. The Solvit Front Seat Net Pet Barrier and the Vehicle Pet Barriers these barriers will dramatically decrease injuries in the event of a sudden stop.
Whichever restraint option you choose, never put your pet in the front seat where he can be injured by airbags.

Your dog should always wear his collar with ID tag, especially when away from home. Be sure to keep your pet leashed during rest stops - you don't want to lose him in an unfamiliar area or be exposed to other pets. NEVER leave your pet in a hot car, even with windows cracked. In as little as 2-3 minutes, pets can overheat and even die from high temperatures. If you must leave your pet in your vehicle, always ensure proper air circulation.

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