Car Travel 101: The Dog Safety Harness

The General Traffic Laws require that pets be kept in such a way that does not interfere with the driver; in addition, in the event of an accident where the dog is thrown forward, there may be deadly consequences for the animal itself or for another occupant in the vehicle.
Car Travel 101: The Dog Safety Harness

Last update: 20 March, 2018

Traveling with our pet in the car brings a number of conditions that we must met. The dog safety harness is one of them. We’ll talk with you about why this is the safest method and which harness is the best to use.

How to travel with you dog in the car

Article 18 of the General Traffic Laws says, and I quote:

“The driver of a vehicle is obligated to maintain his or her ability to move, the necessary line of sight and permanent attention to driving, guaranteeing his or her own safety, that of the rest of those in the vehicle and of those in other surrounding vehicles on the road.

To that effect one must take special care to maintain the proper position and ensure the rest of the passengers do as well, including the proper placement of transported objects or animals as to not interfere with the driver.”

This means that it’s your responsibility to keep the animal from interfering with your driving. If you don’t comply with this, you will be subject to a fee of several hundred Euros.

Although you may have seen many dogs roaming around freely in the car, this is illegal, so don’t do it. There are various ways to follow this law while allowing the animal to remain comfortable. For example:

  • Kennel crate. There are many shapes and sizes. If the animal is small it could go on the floor in the back inside the crate, and if it’s big, cross-sectionally in the trunk.
  • Dog safety harness. This is popular because it’s known for being the most economical and safest for our pet.

Learn why to use the dog safety harness

Law obligates us to restrain our pet while traveling by car. However, we want to do it in order to protect his or her life. Therefore, we must put his harness on and to find one according to his needs.

Which one is best? There are thousands of models to choose from on the market. Nevertheless, there is one thing to take into account when buying a safety harness for dogs. For starters: it must be approved.

Therefore, don’t forget that when you buy a harness they must give you a certificate that ensures that its effectiveness has been tested. This can be the difference between life and death for your dog.

This will also give you peace of mind that it has bee tested and it works, which could save your pet’s life in the case of an accident.

How to use the dog safety harness

The way to use it is simple. It has a hook similar to that of a seat belt in the car. The harness will hook like a seat belt. The difficulty is putting it on the dog.


Maybe your dog has moved about freely in the car. Or, maybe it’s the first time that he’s going to travel by car. Either way, he’ll need training. Don’t wait for the trip to prepare him. You should do so beforehand and with the car stopped. How?

Get the dog into the car, and while talking to him softly so that he’s relaxed, put the dog safety harness on him. It’s very likely that it will bother him, as he’ll want to bite it or take it off, and he may even whine and cry.

Soothe him with petting and speak to him so that he’ll see that you’re there and that nothing is happening. This will calm him down a bit, but don’t leave him in the harness too long; take it off, take him for a walk and try it again. Don’t forget it, do it gradually and gently, and repeat the process as many times as necessary until he doesn’t resist anymore.

When this happens, begin taking the car for a drive at a low speed around the neighborhood. Don’t stop talking to him; it’s possible that he’ll fall asleep before you know it. Bravo, he already knows how to wear the harness!

Don’t forget that having a dog is a big responsibility. You’ll have to take care of him and following the laws that pertain to him. Likewise, also be sure to follow the traffic laws for your pet.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.