If you always take your dog with you no matter where you go, you most likely drive with your pooch. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with driving with a dog in the car.
After all, it’s not like you can walk a couple hundred miles to get to your destination. That being said, there is a right way to travel with a dog in the car and conversely, there’s a wrong way.
Now, most people are usually fine with having the dog in the rear compartment or on the back seat. However, for the most part, this is really only ideal for shorter trips.
For longer trips, many people may elect to use a dog carrier or a crate, but these come with their own issues. Something that has become increasingly popular for car travel is the dog harness.
Today we want to take a closer look at dog harnesses for car travel, why they are beneficial, and how to choose one.
What is a Dog Harness for Car Travel?
A dog harness for car travel looks similar to a normal dog harness, one which fastens around the chest and back of a dog.
Unlike a regular dog harness, those designed for car travel are made to plug into the seatbelt of your car.
One end of the harness should plug into the seatbelt buckle, and the other into the seatbelt clip. These dog car travel harnesses are designed to withstand the impact of a collision, thus being more or less a seatbelt for dogs.
Why Use a Dog Harness for Car Travel?
You might be wondering why you would use a dog harness for car travel, and there are a couple of benefits to think about in this regard.
Dogs should never be unrestrained in cars. This is very dangerous, as a dog that is left to roam free in a car may cause a distraction for the driver, and in some cases may cause accidents.
On that same note, if you the driver has to slam on the brakes, or if there is a collision, a harness will help prevent serious injuries from occurring and may prevent your dog from being ejected through the windshield or through a window.
Many people prefer using a dog harness for car travel rather than a crate.
One reason for this is that you might have a small car which cannot fit a crate or carrier, a problem that gets worse with a large dog and a small car. Moreover, dogs often suffer from anxiety when they have to be in crates, which then creates a whole new set of problems.
Something to keep in mind is that normal car seatbelts are not designed to keep dogs safe. They are not properly positioned for safety, and they may actually cause injury. Therefore, if you are not going to use a crate, a dog harness for car travel is more than ideal.
Laws Surrounding Car Travel With Dogs
Something else that you need to consider are the laws where you live.
Some places do not require dogs to be restrained in a car; some places allow dogs to be in a car unrestrained as long as they are not in the front seat; some places require dogs to be restrained in a moving car at all times no matter where in the car the dog is.
Therefore, it is important that you check the laws and regulations of where you live before making any kind of decision.
However, what needs to be said is that laws are not always right, and while some places do not require dogs to be restrained, it’s always a good idea to do so.
Having a dog safely and securely restrained in a moving car is a whole lot safer for everybody involved, both the humans and pets in the vehicle.
The bottom line in regard to laws is that each place has different ones, so always be sure to do your research before making any sort of decision.
How to Choose a Dog Harness for Car Travel
You don’t want to just go out and buy the first dog harness for car travel that you see. There are a few important considerations that you need to keep in mind before purchasing any sort of dog harness for car travel.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important factors right now.
One of the most important things to consider is the size of the dog harness in question.
Of course, there are super small and extremely large dogs, and dog harnesses are not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.
You want to measure the height, chest size, and weight of your dog, and then purchase a harness which is suitable for that size dog. A harness that doesn’t fit right won’t be much good.
Next, a dog harness for car travel needs to be highly adjustable because although dog harnesses are not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing, most are designed for a specific size range, so there is a bit of leeway.
The best dog harnesses for car travel come with up to 5 points of adjustment, so you can achieve a snug and secure fit for the ultimate in safety.
An important thing to note is that not all dog harnesses are made for car travel; some are made just for walking.
Therefore, for the best result, you will want to get a dog harness that comes with a seat belt restraint.
That said, seat belt restraints can be purchased separately, and they should work with most normal dog harnesses, but you always want to make sure.
A good dog harness for car travel should always be crash tested for safety and for tensile strength.
After all, the whole point of a dog harness like this is to keep your dog safe and uninjured in the event of an accident. Therefore, purchasing one that has not been crash tested is rather pointless.
Next, something else to look into is how user-friendly the harness in question is.
Some require the dog to step into it, while others can be placed over the dog’s head, and others can be attached in different ways still.
Simply put, take a look at the options and figure out which type and design makes the most sense for you and your dog.
The bottom line is that dog harnesses for car travel can and do save lives. These are really ingenuous items that make traveling with a dog in the car much safer, easier, and more relaxing.
Using a dog harness is certainly much more convenient than having to deal with a crate or carrier. Just be sure to choose a high-quality option.