Car Safety Measures for Dogs

A restraining device for dogs can save their live and even their masters' life in the event of an accident. At the same time, keeping an animal restrained will prevent risky situations that can cause a tragedy. 
Car Safety Measures for Dogs
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Pets are full-fledged members in any family. Therefore, they can have the same benefits as humans. This includes outings and vacations. However, when you go out on a road-trip, you should make sure your dog is safely secured in the car.  

A family member; but a commodity by law

For strictly legal purposes, dogs a labeled under the same category as baggage. Of course, according to owners, dog aren’t considered baggage under any circumstances. However, this is what usually takes place in a number of cases.

These laws are intended to protect the safety of those who travel inside a vehicle with a dog, the other vehicles, pedestrians, and the animal itself. 

The goal of a trip: to travel and enjoy it without having any problems

Remember, that a dog is a living being that has his own likes and dislikes. Some are perfectly suited for car trips while other dogs only stare out the windows or sleep. Some might become too restless by constantly jumping back and forth and not obeying orders.

These kinds of nervous pets are dangerous during road-trips. Their hyperactivity can distract the driver, which is why hyperactive dogs are responsible for a significant number of accidents

A puppy in car

Likewise, some nervous dogs feel that riding inside a vehicle represents something traumatic by itself. Therefore, these kinds of dogs need to go through special care.

Other than having unexpected delays, the animal can suffer a lot. Traveling and going on road-trips should be synonymous that relate to pleasure and not tragedy. 

Responsibility and awareness

It is estimated that up to 50% of drivers travelling with dogs in their vehicles don’t take any special safety precautions for themselves and hardly ever do it to their dogs. 

A dog sticking his head out of a car window

Only 20% of this group admits that this is a serious mistake.

Car safety for dogs: basic equipment

To comply with safety standards and reduce risks, there are car safety devices for dogs that should be used during all stages of a road-tr ip:

  • A pet carrier should be the same size as the animal. It should be big enough for it to stand up in, but not so too wide for it to roll from side to side as the car moves. If it’s a small pet, place the carrier on the car floor, on the back seats.
  • For medium-sized dogs, you can fasten their crates to a back seat with a seat-belt, if there is room. If there isn’t, they will have to ride behind the back seat.
  • With these implementations, dogs can be secured with seat belts in the back seats. Seat-belts that go over the shoulder are more recommendable than lap belts because they are more resistant in the event of high-speed impacts.
  • Nets to keep the seating area separate from suitcases.

Why it’s important to keep the dog restrained while traveling

It’s not just rhetoric. The safety of the animal and other passengers depends on everyone following the rules while travelling. For example, studies have shown that loose dogs in the car can multiply up to 35 times the impact force.

This means that if a dog weighing 25 kilos goes flying forward during a frontal collision when the vehicle is going more than 80 km/h, he will have the impact force of an object weighing 875 kilos. The damage to the back of the person hit by him, and for the animal itself, will probably be fatal.


The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.