Driving with Pets


  • Restrain your pet. Best practice is for pets to be in a crate that is anchored to the car or strapped in w the seatbelt. Next best is to secure them in a harness, and connect to the car’s seatbelt.


  • Airbags. While a pet riding shotgun might be cute, the airbags could kill them. Stick to the backseat or cargo area.

  • A distracted driver is an unsafe driver. Hang up the phone, follow the speed limit, never drive impaired or drowsy, and ALWAYS wear your seatbelt. This is the best way to protect you and your pet!
  • Don’t allow your dog to ride with its head out the window.
  • Never leave a dog in a parked car, even if it’s 70 degrees. Cars can heat up very quickly.
  • Additional Tip: Wag More, Bark Less 




  • A crate or kennel is best for your pet, but it must be anchored to the car via an approved tether or to the car’s seatbelt


  • Look into what harness is best for your dog’s size – whatever you go with, remember that not all harnesses are created equal. Only the Sleepypod Clickit Sport and Clickit Terrain, and the ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack harnesses have been crash test certified by the Center for Pet Safety. 4x4 North America uses different testing standards, and sells crates and harnesses: https://4x4northamerica.com/


  • Tethers are not ideal, and definitely not the safest option. They should NEVER be attached to a dog’s collar, but instead to their harness. The larger the harness, the more impact it will absorb if there’s a crash or sudden stop. Ruffwear and Sleepypod harnesses, for example, are more like a vest and are padded, vs Kurgo harness, which has only 1 in straps.


  • FOCUS on the road, not your dog


  • CT, MA, ME, MN, NH, and RI have some type of law that requires dogs to be restrained while in the vehicle.


      Some harness options listed here: https://www.rover.com/blog/reviews/car-dog-harnesses/

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  • Emily Stein
    published this page in Driver Tips 2023-04-28 14:11:03 -0400