Dog Car Safety Tips

Updated: February 26, 2024

"Practice rides help your dog adjust to the feeling of a car in motion."

Dog car safety is very important to ensure that you, your dog, and your whole family have a safe trip. You see, taking your dog on a car ride can be fun but only if you are prepared for it. Without preparing for your dog’s car safety, you might be putting them in danger.

This article will discuss the most significant dog car safety tips for a happier and healthier drive, no matter how long or short.

Safety Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Car

Here are some of the most important things you need to consider when out on a drive with your dog:

Practice Short Drives with Rewards

A good, stress-free drive with your dog does not happen in an instant. Most dogs are easily stressed out and anxious when traveling. To prevent this from happening, it is best you train your dog first. To help your dog get used to riding in a car, it is suggested to have a number of practice rides. You may begin to go around the block and slowly increase your distance as they get at ease with it.

By doing practice rides, you are helping your dog slowly adjust to the feeling of car motion and being inside a car. These will also help them practice getting in and out of the car and get familiar with the sounds of the doors, the car engine, and the horns. Eventually, your dog will learn how to properly behave inside the car, keeping both of you safe on the road.

dog car safety

Offer Calming Supplements

If your dog is prone to anxiety, you can offer them Calming SoftSupps®. Pet Parents® Calming SoftSupps® are calming treats that help keep your dog calm and relaxed during stressful situations. Made with Suntheanine® (a pure form of L-Theanine), these calming soft chews promote a sense of relaxation & mental alertness in your dog.

Provide a Dog Ramp for Cars

It is always a good idea to prevent a dog ramp for car for your furbaby. This dog ramp for car will help your anxious or scared furbaby get inside the car. It will also be a great help for senior dogs who have difficulty getting in the car or smaller dogs who can’t quite make the jump.

According to PetMD, a dog ramp for car makes it easier for your furbaby to easily get in and out of the car. Plus, it also protects them from an injury that could occur when/if the dog attempts to jump up into a vehicle or climb stairs and they fall backward.

Do Not Feed a Full Meal Before a Drive

Feeding a meal before a drive may cause your dog an upset stomach due to motion sickness. You do not want to be dealing with accidents and cleanups while traveling. So, to help prevent an upset stomach, just prepare a light meal for your furbaby. You can also plan ahead to give your dog about three before setting off. If you are taking a long drive, be sure to stop to feed your dog future meals rather than doing it on the go.

Use Pawtect® Pads

If you are worried about an upset stomach or an anxious bladder, you can put a Pawtect® Pad down on your seat. These are waterproof and reusable puppy pads that will protect your car from any accidents.

While you should make regular stops to potty, you can also have your dog wear Pet Parents® Dog Diapers if they are not fully potty trained, a young puppy, or an older dog. These dog diapers with leak-proof, water-proof shells make sure both pee and pop messes stay inside the diaper, saving you and your car from any mess.

Buckle Up

travel tips for dogs

When out on a drive, don’t forget to properly restrain your dog. You may choose a harness which is also known as a pet belt. Or you may opt to keep them in a crate. When choosing what harness or crate to purchase, choose the one that allows your furbaby to properly stand, sit, and lie down. Do not purchase the ones that limit your furbaby’s movements and allow them to be in only one position the entire drive. This will make them even more anxious and irritable.

Do Not Allow Your Dog to Stick Their Head Out the Window

It is a common sight to see dogs popping their heads out the car window, enjoying the sights, the different scents, and feeling the cool wind. But as much as this has been the norm among pet parents and mentally stimulating for dogs, this can be dangerous. Debris, dirt, rocks, and other flying objects may cause your dog some serious head and eye injuries if you let them stick their head out the window. When traveling, keep your windows mostly closed to discourage them from doing so.

Never Leave Your Dog on Inside The Car Alone

Never leave your dog unattended inside the car, especially in very warm or cold weather. Cars can easily heat up even if you’re just taking a quick bathroom break. Leaving your dog alone in the car may cause heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and suffocation during warm days and hypothermia during cold days.

"If you are worried about an upset stomach or an anxious bladder, you can put a Pawtect® Pad down on your seat."

When you get out of your car for some business, take this as a chance to allow your dog to step out as well, breathe some fresh air, and stretch. If you are traveling alone, consider looking up dog-friendly rest areas before you leave.

Be Prepared

Whether it is a long drive out of town or just a quick visit to the vet, it is important to always be prepared.

  • Place your dog’s harness or crate inside the car so it’s always there whenever you need it.
  • Prepare spill-proof food and water bowls with extra food and water.
  • Make sure your dog’s pet tags and microchips are updated in case they try to escape, get lost, or get stolen during your stops.
  • Travel with your pet’s first aid kit including any medications, comfort toys, and Gnawtlers®.