One of our clients asked for our advice on a seatbelt system for her dog. We did a little research, and here are the recommendations from our vets:
Overall, some sort of restraint system is recommended for all pets who will be riding in the car. Restrained animals reduce your distraction from the task at hand and prevent your pet from roaming, jumping/hanging out the window, or being thrown from (or around) the car in the event of an accident.
Using a crate or carrier is generally the best method of car restraint. These not only confine your pet, but they also provide some protection from flying objects. Crates should be secured to the seat or floor of your vehicle by looping a lap belt through the handle or using another tie-down method.
Seatbelt harnesses are another viable option, especially for larger breed dogs. These are designed to be fitted to your dog’s chest and attached to the existing seatbelt in your car. To ease the introduction of a seatbelt harness for your pet, use treats and lots of praise. Start with short car rides, while your pet gets used to the new accessory. Be advised that the airbag should be turned off where your pet is placed. Follow product instructions for proper fit.
There are various brands of seatbelt harnesses; we recommend the following two based on their safety specifications:
- Ruff Rider Canine Vehicle Restraint System
- CHAMPION Canine Seat Belt System (offered by Toyota Motor Corp.)
Thanks for the topic suggestion! Happy travels!