Riding in Cars with Dogs? Stay Safe

Riding in Cars with Dogs?

We all love our dogs. And we all need to drive. But when riding in cars with dogs, we often endanger our animals and ourselves.

Driving with a dog in the car poses some problems. Driving is a complex and delicate process in the best of circumstances. Throw a dog into the mix, and things get extra messy. Dogs are sweet creatures, but they can be unpredictable. Dogs bark, jump around, and provide a whole host of surprises that can disrupt your concentration; not transporting your dog responsibly can make you a distracted driver, endangering you, your fellow motorists, and even your precious pooch.

Riding in Cars with Dogs can be tricky business. Find out ways to keep yourself and your pet safe when you need to take your dogs in the car with you.

Kennel Up!

As much as many people don’t like to put their dogs in cages, for many dogs, it’s the only safe option. Your dog may get uncomfortable or irritated but will be prevented from jumping around, barking, or otherwise causing dangerous distractions to you, the driver.

Some dogs can roam free safely in a car. If your dog is one of these, you’re probably okay leaving her or him out. A calm, quiet dog should be a safe companion, and your dog will have a happy ride. You know your dog better than anyone else. Judge carefully.

A rambunctious dog could cause any number of problems. Your driving is your responsibility. A driver who operates a vehicle without a reasonable level of concern for the safety of others has acted in a negligent manner. If you let an excited animal run loose while you steer 3 tons of chrome, flesh, and gasoline down the highway at 65 miles an hour, you’re not a responsible pet owner or driver.

Taking Your Pet on Vacation – Important Travel Tips

While dogs love nothing more than to stick their noses out of fast traveling windows, pet owners should think twice before giving their dogs free-rein to dangle half of their bodies outside of a moving vehicle.

For a dog, sticking a nose out a car’s window and sniffing the outside world as it passes is like an appetizer sampler. It’s an extraordinary experience for a dog. There’s nothing wrong with allowing your pet to do this. Just be sure that nothing bad will happen. When you lower your window, make sure there’s not enough room for your dog to get much of her or his body outside. Just a nose will do.

What Not to Do

Lots of people do silly things when transporting their dogs from place to place. Some of these tips should go without saying, but dog owners often do goofy things. If you’re driving with a dog in the car, follow these guidelines.

  • Don’t drive with your dog in your lap. This will distract you or could interfere with your steering (or pedal control).
  • Don’t transport your dog outside of your car. Leaving your pet to suffer while in a trailer or other type of external carrier is traumatic for your pet. Keep your dog inside the car.
  • Don’t make your dog wait for bathroom breaks. Let your dog out during long car rides. Doing otherwise will make your pet anxious and rambunctious.

Are dogs allowed in Rental Cars? Pet-Friendly Car Hire

Safe traveling!

Riding in Cars with Dogs? Stay Safe” was written by Matt Rhoney

Matt RhoneyMatt Rhoney is an avid reader on trending topics and a writer in his spare time. On the beautiful coast of North Carolina, you will usually find him catching up on the latest news with locals or on the beach surfing, kayaking or paddleboarding. He loves to write pieces on health, fitness, and wellness, but often writes about families and safety.


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Do you bring your dog(s) in the car with you when you go out?
How about a cat or another pet?
(I bring my Bearded Dragon sometimes.) 

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7 thoughts on “Riding in Cars with Dogs? Stay Safe”

  1. Jeanne, where/how does your bearded dragon ride when you take her for a car ride?
    Do you buy her treats when out? What kind?
    And last, how can you tell if Shirley is happy or upset with her ride or treat?
    Thanks! (Enjoy your blog!)

    • Barb, I hold Shirley against my chest when in the car, whether I’m driving or am a passenger. My seatbelt goes over her too because she seems to be more comfortable when I hold her close. It must feel more secure. If there is sun on the dashboard, I’ll put her there as well, ’cause she sure does love her sun! She’ll stay there on her own. I would never let her go loose in the car for safety’s sake. I wouldn’t want her to get under the gas and brake pedals.

      She often comes with me to PetSmart for crickets, or another place for worms, unless I have too many other errands to run. I don’t give her treats on the road because she is never interested in them. She only eats when she’s in her tank.

      If Shirley was upset in the car, I believe she would be trying to get away from my hold on her. If she doesn’t want me to hold her, I’ll know it.

      Thanks for asking!

      • Imagining Shirley going to the pet store to buy crickets is too funny!
        I am surprised that she stays put in a car, was thinking she would scurry all over the place, out-of-control, but what do I know?
        I do know a lot more about kangaroos & bearded dragons now! Thanks!

        • You’re welcome, Barbara. Once when I brought Shirley to PetSmart for crickets, she pooped all over the cricket container lid. If you’ve never smelled Bearded Dragon poop before, I assure you, it stinks bad. The sales clerk took it all in stride. He owned one too. 🙂 I’ve enjoyed talking to you. Peace out.

  2. I do take my Pug and yes, I took my Beardie when I had one and he had a lizard leash. My Pug rides in a pet booster seat so she is safe. And my large pit mix used to want to stick her nose out the window, so I had to roll it up to just above her nose reach. She fell in the floor a couple times when I slammed on brakes so I started using a tether and she couldn’t leave the seat belt area.

    • Hey Jennifer. Thanks for your visit to my blog. I’m glad your Pug likes car rides. I love bringing my dogs along. I’ve had the experience too, where I’ve slammed on the brakes and the dog goes flying. Oops. A tether can be a good idea. Thanks for commenting! 🙂


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