Buckle Up, Fido! Safety Tips for Driving with Dogs

May 10, 2024 2 min read

Dogs are a human’s best friend and there are plenty of reasons you might want your dog along for the ride. But you want to make sure your dog is safe with you in the car, whether you’re taking a short drive or embarking on a cross-country journey. Make sure you’ve thought ahead about keeping your best friend safe with these essential dog car safety tips.

  1. Secure Dogs in Their Seats

Just like people, dogs should be buckled up while on the road. That keeps them safe in case of a sudden stop or accident, the same way it would for a human — and keeps them in their seat, too, which helps you stay distraction-free. One of the safest ways to travel in a car with your dog is to secure them with a car safety seat belt for dogs. These harnesses can help keep your pet secure and confined to their seat, which allows you to keep your focus on the road without any paws crawling around you or behind you. A harness also helps ease fears about an unrestrained dog in the event of an accident.

  1. Ease Anxiety

Some dogs love hanging their head out the window, tongue wagging in the wind, but that’s not true of every dog. If your furry friend is a nervous traveler or is overwhelmed by car rides, try creating a cozy mobile home to assure them that they’re safe. Travel crates can make driving with dogs easier by allowing them to snuggle up safely and ride comfortably. If your dog barks or is triggered by people or dogs outside the window, covering the crate with a blanket can help encourage them to be calm and quiet. Using a bed or blanket from home can allow your dog to adjust to the moving vehicle more quickly.

  1. Put a Barrier Between the Driver and Passenger Seats

Maybe your dog loves riding shotgun but is pretty sure he could be the driver if only you’d let him into the driver’s seat. No unlicensed drivers here! A barrier will help keep your dog from climbing onto your lap while you’re operating the vehicle, distracting you with kisses, a wiggly tail or ears in your line of vision. Instead of allowing them in the front at all, consider installing a special fence into the back of your car, keeping your dog safely in the back seat, allowing them to have space while you drive. 

  1. Plan Potty and Walk Breaks

If you’re taking a long trip with your dog, make sure to pack snacks and plan potty breaks to give you both a break. Treats and chew toys can also help keep your pup busy and prevent them from getting anxious. Even if you have a shorter trip, give them the opportunity to have a bathroom break before and after being in the car.

  1. Turn the Air Up

Make sure you never leave your dog in the car alone, especially if the car isn’t running. It might feel like a nice day outside, but the temperature can quickly become dangerously hot for a dog in the car, causing immense discomfort and distress, threatening their health and even causing loss of life. Even with the windows cracked, the car can heat up fast. And when the car is on, make sure you’re checking on your pup frequently and be sure you have enough air circulating to keep them comfortable.

Stay Safe on the Road

Whether or not your passengers are furry, safe driving is important. Contact your Farm Bureau agent today to make sure you’re covered when you’re behind the wheel.

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