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Do you have a furry friend who joins you on car rides? If so, it’s important to make sure they are safe while you’re on the road. In this article, we will discuss how to pick the best car seats for dogs to help in keeping them safe while driving. We’ll cover everything from how dogs should be restrained in cars to how to create a safe travel environment for them. So whether you’re just starting out on your pet parenting journey or looking for an upgrade, read on for all the information you need!
Is a dog car seat necessary?
If a dog car seat is necessary depends on your circumstances. Legally speaking, the rules about how to secure a dog inside a car can vary across different states. You can check with your local road traffic authority to learn more about what rules may apply to you.
For example, in Queensland, there’s no legal requirement to restrain animals when they’re being driven. But, it’s still strongly recommended, both to keep your dog safe, and to prevent your pet from distracting you while driving, which in fact would be an offence.
So, to summarise, the important factors here are:
- You want to keep your dog safe, especially in the event of an accident, and
- You want to make sure that your dog does not distract you while driving, and
- You need to follow all applicable rules from your local road traffic authority
How can I restrain my dog in a car?
Here are your options to restrain your dog in a car:
- Car seatbelt for dogs attached to a harness
- Car seat for dogs (sometimes also referred to as “car dog beds“)
- Car crate/carrier for dogs
What is the safest way for a dog to travel in a car?
Generally speaking, the absolute safest way for your dog to travel in a car is probably inside a crash-tested dog travel crate.
But in reality, a lot of dog owners can’t fit a dog car crate inside their car, or it’s just not in their budget right now. In those circumstances, a dog car seat, combined with a car seatbelt for dogs that is attached to a harness can be a good alternative. They can help to restrain your dog in the car while simultaneously protecting your car seats from dog hair and slobber.
Which car seats for dogs are best?
To find the best dog car seat for your pup, you’ll need to factor in a few variables, such as the size and temperament of your dog. Here are some examples of dog car seats with great reviews that you can buy in Australia:
Car seat for small dogs
- Stylish, award-winning booster seat
- Installs quickly and securely on any bucket seat
- Metal supports for structural integrity, collapsible for easy storage
- Available in different colours
Dog Car Seat Cover
- Protects your back seats from dog hair, dirt, and slobber
- Opens on the sides so your dog can get in and out easily
- Easy to install and clean
Multifunctional dog car booster seat
- Portable with easy grip handles
- Can also be used as a dog bed
- Good size for small dogs to curl up and rest during car trips
Car Harness for small, medium, and large to extra-large dogs
- Some harnesses, like the one below, have a special buckle system so that they can be used as a car harness
- It can also be used as an every-day harness, but when used with the included seatbelt tether, it helps to protect your dog in a car accident.
- The Kurgo harness above has been crash-tested on established University ground facilities (Accredited by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), using the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) for child restraint systems.
- Lifetime Warranty
Dog Car Seatbelt
- Goes over the headrest so your dog can’t accidentally unbuckle the seatbelt by stepping on it
- Adjustable length
- Can be converted to a traditional hand-held dog leash
2-in-1 Car Seatbelt & Leash
If you prefer a minimalistic life, check out this 2-in-1 design that can be used as both a dog leash and a car seatbelt buckle for your dog
Are dog booster seats worth it?
If you’re wondering whether or not a dog booster seat is worth it for you and your pup, the answer is: it depends. A booster seat can help to keep your dog safe and secure in the car, but only if it’s a good quality product and used correctly. You’ll need to make sure that the booster seat is:
- Located on a back seat (so that the airbag won’t hurt your dog in the event of an accident),
- Made from high-quality material with good stitching, and
- fastened safely in the car, and
- your pup should be wearing a harness, that’s connected to a dog seatbelt, which is safely fastened with your car.
Can I put a seatbelt on my dog?
No, but there are special seatbelts for dogs that you can buy to help restrain your dog in the car.
What is the best way to transport a puppy in a car?
If you have a puppy, it’s best to put them in a dog crate or carrier that is securely fastened in the car. This will help to keep them safe and secure while you’re driving. Puppies are especially curious and can easily get into trouble if they’re not properly restrained.
How do I get rid of my dogs’ car anxiety?
There is no one definitive answer to this question, but a great way to start is by discussing your problem with your regular vet. They will be able to offer some general advice, as well as point you in the right direction of any specialist services that may be able to help.
What is the safest place for a dog in a car?
The safest place for a dog in a car is either inside a travel-safe crate or on a car seat for dogs that’s located on a back seat. You don’t want to travel with your dog in the passenger seat because of the same airbag risk that applies to children under the age of 12.
Car crates and cages for dogs
If you’re looking for a high-end, crash-tested dog crate to go in the trunk of your car, find your closest stockist of “Variocage” in Australia. A quick Google query for “Variocage” will provide you with a list of Australian retailers. Alternatively you can also find them on Amazon with free shipping for Prime members.
For a more affordable alternative, have a look at aluminium dog crates on Amazon or browse on Gumtree for dog car crates. If your dog travels in the trunk of your car, you might enjoy our article about dog ramps: The Savvy Dog Ramp Buyer Guide (7+ Questions Answered)