We like taking our furry friend, Brewster, on trips. Recently we began to wonder about the wisdom of this as we’re all strapped in and Brewster is free to roam from seat to seat. To help all dog owners, we decided to do some research on whether Brewster needs a dog car seat and share what we learned.
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Where should a dog sit in the car?
A dog should not sit in the front seat of the vehicle. One reason is that front seat air bags are made for humans, not dogs. Instead, dogs should either be in the back seat or in a crate inside the car.
How do you seat a dog in a car?
Harnesses made specifically for the purpose of attaching the dog to a seat belt are available. Obviously, a dog in a seat with a seat belt for a human would be pointless. Our Brewster would get up and walk away from that whenever he decided he’s ready to move.
Most pet stores offer dog harnesses for sale. Be sure to find a harness the proper size for your dog.
Is my dog required to wear a seat belt?
ValChoice is not aware of any laws requiring a seat belt on a dog. However, that doesn’t imply an unrestrained dog is legal. Driving with a dog on your lap could result in being charged under laws pertaining to obstructing the drivers view or obstructing access to steering wheel, pedals, etc.
Is there such a thing as a dog car seat?
There is such a thing as a dog car seat. While I personally find the harness to hold Brewster in place is a good solution, others may want an actual car seat. There are a number of options available through pet stores and online. Most serve a duel purpose of getting the dog up higher to see out the window while also restraining the dog. With a car seat you will want to make sure it properly fits your dog.
Does a dog really need a car seat?
Yes. Dogs need to be restrained while riding in a car. In an accident an unrestrained dog could fly right through a window. Even if the dog didn’t fly through the window, just getting thrown around inside the car is dangerous both for the dog and the human passengers.
Restraining a dog doesn’t necessarily mean in a dog car seat. The “car seat” portion of the name often implies a booster seat where the dog is sitting a bit higher and can see out the window from the perch.
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