Keeping your dog safe in a car.

How to Keep My Dog Safe When Travelling in a Car?

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Last Updated on 02/01/2024 by Claire Coney

To keep my dog safe when travelling in my car, first I assess the circumstances of the journey. Then I looked at my requirements and my dog’s need for the trip. Next, I check out the equipment that I have for suitability and safety. And I replace worn or broken items. Then review new products on the market.  

If you want to keep your dog safe when travelling in a car, you could start with a dog travel carrier. These provide a safe enclosed space for a dog to travel in comfort. If your dog prefers sitting in the boot, a dog guard is a good option. Or maybe a car safety harness would give you more flexibility. Booster seats are a fabulous choice that allows small dogs to look out the window.  

Remember, it is the law to have your dog under control in the car. It is stated in the Highway Code that animals must be restrained when in a motor vehicle. Restraining your dog in the car will prevent injury to them, you or your passenger. This can also dramatically reduce the risk in the event of an accident and keep your dog safe when travelling in a car.   

How To Choose a Dog Travel Carrier?  

There are various things to consider when choosing Fido, a travel carrier. There are lots of options to pick from when introducing safety measures into your car. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the choices. It is important to make sure that Fido has a safe trip in the car so that you can both enjoy the ride.

What to Consider When Choosing A Travel Carrier For a Dog?

  • Circumstances: When you are on your trip consider your and Fido’s needs. You should also consider why you are travelling and where you are going. A carrier that is lightweight easy to carry and easy to pack. It should also be comfortable for Fido.  
  • Size: the carrier should be big enough for Fido to sit, stand and turn around in. But small enough to keep Fido secure. You will need to know Fido’s height, length and weight to select the correct size.  
  • Set up: no matter what carrier you choose it should be easy to assemble, store and use. Otherwise, you will be less likely to use it.  

Soft of Hard-Sided Carriers

Dog carriers for cars come in two main styles;

Standard hard-sided carriers are sometimes preferred for their durability and rugged construction. The hard shell offers a bit more protection for Fido and is easy to clean.  

Soft-sided carriers are popular for transporting smaller dogs. These are typically designed to be light and portable. They also fold up for easy storage. Check the size and weight specifications from the manufacturer. Many owners say they need to go a size larger.  

Choosing the right carrier for Fido is an easy and convenient way to take your canine friend along with you. It is the best way to keep your dog safe in a car. Day out and holidays are never the same without him.  Here are some dog carries for your to consider:

Easy Go Folding Transport Box

I love the Easy Go Folding Transport Box. This is the dog carrier that I am currently using with my Cairn Terrier, Abigail. It is so versatile I can use it anywhere. I use it when travelling in my car or in my van to keep Abigail safe, comfortable and restrained. The carrier has strong carry handles. This makes it easy to take on ferries or in holiday accommodation. It is also great to use on camping trips.  

The Easy Go Folding Transport Box is made from resilient polyester which has passed the test of strong Cairn Terrier paws. It is also easy to pop Abigail into the carrier through the front opening. 

I like being able to see Abigail inside the carrier through the mesh screens at the front and side. This allows me to check on Abigail and ensure that she is happy. Abigail can also see out through the mesh and it gives her plenty of air and light. When we are camping the windows can be zipped up to keep Abigail Cosy inside. And she can snuggle up on the fleece matt to stay warm. In addition, it has a steady metal frame that is easy to assemble and folds away in its carry bag when not in use.  

The Easy Go Folding Transport Box is available in 3 different sizes. Small. Medium. Large.

Trixie Gulliver Transport Crate  

I have travelled through Europe with my pets many times. I used a plastic transport box similar to the Trixie Gulliver Transport Crate. It was a great solution for keeping my dog safe when travelling in a car. I found this type of carrier is easy to transport as it is lightweight and durable.  

The Trixie Gulliver Transport Crate has a large metal door at the front makes it easy to access. This crate has two side windows with bars. These allow plenty of ventilation and good visibility for your dog. There is also a water bowl that attaches to the metal door for long journeys. The door opens outwards and can be removed from the crate. The carrier has a sturdy handle for carrying into holiday accommodation. Wheels are also available as a separate purchase.  

You can use this crate in the car, on a train or ferry. It is also approved by all European airlines. This makes it a versatile crate for transporting your dog.  

The Trixie Gulliver comes in 4 different sizes to accommodate any breed of dog.  

Trixie Friends on Tour Home Kennel  

If you have a boisterous dog you may prefer to use a metal travel crate. A metal crate is an ideal space in which your dog can relax when travelling. The Trixie Friends on Tour Home Kennel has 2 doors with a carry handle making it easy to use when travelling in the car. It is also collapsible and easy to store.  

This high-quality crate is made from zinc-coated metal. it is very stable and can take a lot of strain. The mesh allows good visibility for your dog and you can keep an eye on him too. The base is made from plastic which is easy to clean. The crate is easy for your dog to access through the front and side doors. It is also easy to assemble. This crate is ideal for keeping your dog safe in a car. 

The crate comes in five different sizes. Small. Medium. Large. X-large. XX-large.  

Other Methods to Secure Your Dog in a Car

If your dog is not happy to travel in a dog carrier here are some other methods of securing your dog in a car you might prefer:

Trixie Dog Car Harness with Seatbelt Tether  

Harness and seat belt tethers are fabulous. I use them in my car and like to have several to hand. I have been using seat belt tethers for many years now when my dogs are not contained in travel carriers.  

The Trixie Dog Car Harness is comfortable for your dog to wear. You can adjust the harness so that it fits your dog perfectly and The seatbelt tether is also adjustable. The padded chest plate helps withstand heavy loads. This is compatible with any vehicle.

What I like about the tethers is they easily unclip from the harness. Then I can clip a lead to my dog’s collar before she gets out of the car.  

Trixie Protective Car Boot Guard Bars  

You could also consider using a dog guard if your pet prefers to sit in the boot. A protective guard for your dog is important when travelling in the boot of the car. It will prevent your dog from coming forward into the front of the car. The Trixie Protective Car Boot Bars are very popular with dog owners.  

This product will fit most cars. The guard will fit most hatchbacks and smaller estate cars. It has adjustable width and height to keep your dog safe. The vertical posts have braced pads to wedge between your roof and the floor. Then all you have to do is extend the horizontal bars until they reach the car windows. It is that simple!  


width 85 – 140cm  

height 75 – 110cm  

Dog Car Booster Seat 

I think that this dog booster seat for small dogs is a great idea. It enables small dogs to be able to see out the windows so that their journey is more enjoyable. it is also comfy but allows them to stay tethered safely in the car.  

The booster seat is easily installed on any bucket seat and collapses for storage. It is waterproof and has a stain-resistant exterior. Metal supports provide structural integrity. An integral tether can be attached to your dog’s harness and used with your car’s seat belt. In addition, it has handy storage pockets. The lining and pad can be removed and machine-washed. This booster seat is suitable for dogs up to 13.6kg / 30lbs.  

Whichever means of restraint you choose keep your dog safe in a car. It is the best way for you and your dog to enjoy your journey.

Please let us know which method of car restraint you prefer to use with your dog in the car? And why do you like it? 

Further Reading

How to Make Travel to Europe With Your Dog Easy!

Travelling with a Dog in The Car – My Tips

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