Travel Smarts for Your Dog

May 1, 2019 at 9:00 AM by Nikki Wardle

Traveling in car with seat tether

Each time you get into the car you buckle up. Your passengers buckle up. Your kids buckle up, or you buckle them into their car seats. But Fido, he jumps in and proceeds to stick his head out the window to enjoy the wind. But just like you, your passengers, and your kids, if you get into an accident, Fido is put in harm’s way if he isn’t buckled up.

Let’s talk physics for a moment. Your 10-pound dog turns into 300 pounds of force when in a 30 mile-an-hour accident. In the same crash, an 80-pound dog turns into 2,400 pounds of force. That is a sobering thought when you think about the damage that a dog’s body can do you and everyone else in the car, not to mention what damage to themselves could be done.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options available for every size of dog and car, so you can pick which works for your pooch.

Pet Safety Harnesses

CPS Safety Harnesses are quite useful in the sense that they are used with a leash but can also be used with seatbelts in your car. Their prices range from around $20 to $145+. If you’re looking for safety harnesses that will act as both, make sure to look for the Center for Pet Safety Seal of Approval. Their site currently recommends two different brands of safety harnesses. At the very least, look to see if the harness’ you are interested in have had any crash testing done.

Pet Seat Belts

Pet seat belts are a broad term that includes tethers, leads, and pet harness seat belt adaptors. The prices for any one of these items ranges from $5 to $130 or more. What you decide to use is going to depend significantly on the size of your pet and if you want your dog to have access to the window or not. A vital tip to remember is never to use a tether to buckle your dog in by his collar. In an accident, your dog’s neck could break or (at minimum) cause severe damage.

Pet Travel Carriers

Pet carriers are different from pet crates, and they are generally soft, or at least have a soft lining, and are usually made for dogs 30 pounds or less. Carriers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes such as backpacks, shoulder type bags, or a crate style with handles for carrying around easily. They can range in price from $18 to $300 and up (Louis Vuitton makes a pet carrier for $2,690.)Louis Vuitton dog carrier

The Center for Pet Safety (CPS) lists four brands of carriers on their website that have met their crash standards. Additionally, they list four other brands that do not specifically mention that they are CPS certified but have, in fact, met their safety standards. Check out the specific brands on the CPS website.

Pet Travel Crates

Crates are secure and sturdy, generally made from hardened plastic or metal and are ideal for larger dogs who travel in cars, truck beds, or other road vehicles such as side-by-sides, or ATVs. One of the top travel CPS Certified crates is from Gunner Kennels. All of their G1TM series crates are certified and offer a wide range of accessories for added comfort for your canine. The CPS also lists three other companies that manufacture crates that meet their crash test standards.

Remember, for a crate to be the right size for your dog, they must be able to stand up, sit, and turn around comfortably. If your dog can’t do all of that, it’s just too small.

Safety Should Always Be First

Now that you have a bit more information under your belt about pet travel products that are CPS rated and why it’s so important to buckle your pet up during every commute, you can go out and find the right product for your furry family member!

Topics: Pet Care, Puppy Care

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.