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Securing a dog in the car

(19 Posts)
rockybalboa Tue 21-Jul-15 12:52:04

Our puppy absolutely hates her crate, poos in it every time and it has long since been abandoned. However, this leaves me in a bit of a quandry as to how we are supposed to safely transport her in the car. I looked at one of those dog car harnesses in the vets today but it looks like they have to be clicked into one of the seatbelts and we have 3 kids so there aren't any spare seatbelts if we are all out together. I did think about a dog guard to keep her in the boot but our boot is quite big so surely she'd fly around inside?

Are there any other dog-in-car options that I'm missing which anyone can please recommend?

GreyAndGoldInTheMeadow Tue 21-Jul-15 12:59:12

Not sure about other options, but I use the boot for my dog. Generally he lays down and doesn't get thrown around. He got used to the motion pretty quickly. I'm assuming you're driving normally, and not doing rally cross or anything grin

BlueKarou Tue 21-Jul-15 13:10:21

Often there are hooks in the boot used for securing luggage, but which you could use to attach your dog's lead & harness to - that way she's a bit safer and there's no risk of her leaping out when you stop and open the boot. Otherwise there's the option of attaching the lead to the headrests of the back seats. I would always use a harness so there's no risk of the dog's neck being hurt.

My Mum leaves her dogs loose in the boot (with a dog guard). I'm clearly a bit precious about mine as I don't like the risk that, if I stopped, say at traffic lights, someone walking past could open the rear door and release the dogs (stupid car, boot is unlocked whenever the main doors are unlocked!). It's unlikely, but just in case... I much prefer knowing they're secure and safe and that I can see they're not chewing something they shouldn't be. Mine go on the seats, though, which doesn't help you at all.

tabulahrasa Tue 21-Jul-15 13:20:26

" I did think about a dog guard to keep her in the boot but our boot is quite big so surely she'd fly around inside?"

Unless she's a very very tiny dog...not if you're just driving and not like taking part in a rally race or something, lol.

Very few harnesses are crash tested anyway, so it's debatable whether they'd withstand an accident.

You get built in crates, they're safest...bit of a gamble to take if she's not crate trained though.

Other than that the boot is the safest place for your passengers as in the main part of the car an unsecured or poorly secured dog becomes a loose weight in an accident that'll hit your DC.

rockybalboa Tue 21-Jul-15 13:31:38

Oooh, good idea about looking for hooks in the boot. I hadn't thought of that. At the moment she is going in one of the back seat footwells (on a towel - she's only 12 weeks old!) with her lead tied round the column bit between the two seats. I have to keep the lead fairly short so she doesn't jump up at and nibble the DC. Means she can turn round etc but isn't free flying! And no, I'm not rally driving but we do live in an area with lots of twisty turning roads and she's not terribly good at lying still yet. Perhaps doing what I'm doing but with a harness instead of her lead would be the best option for now.

rockybalboa Tue 21-Jul-15 13:33:19

BlueKarou, do your dogs just lie on the seats with their harness fixed to the seatbelt or something?

Floralnomad Tue 21-Jul-15 14:11:28

My dog sits on the backseat and I use the harness that I bought when I first got him ( 5 years ago) ,I doubt it would pass safety standards now but frankly Im more concerned about him not jumping around than worrying about whether I will crash the car . Basically his harness attaches to the seat belt with a very short lead which you slip the seat belt through the loop of the lead IYSWIM , that way he can be attached to the same seatbelt as a person if needed . In theory he could walk as far as the seatbelt would allow but he has always travelled well and just sits on his blanket / sticks his head out of the window ( weather permitting) . My car is not suitable to have a dog in the boot and he's not keen on cages ( unless he's at the vet or dog wash where he is happy to have bars separating him from other dogs as he doesn't like them either!)

MelanieCheeks Tue 21-Jul-15 14:16:43

Dog guard and boot all the way.

I can fit both ours (cocker spaniel and Weimaraner) into the Mokka that is thus fitted. If they're in my Fiat 500 then the cocker goes in the teeny boot, and the Weim is attached using a seatbelt harness. But he can get up, turn around, get tangled etc in that.

Soooo...what sort of dog, and what sort of car?

rockybalboa Tue 21-Jul-15 14:23:56

Dog is a sprocker and we have two cars we'd need to make dog ready, a Mini Countryman and a Hyundai Sante Fe.

MelanieCheeks Tue 21-Jul-15 14:30:24

The countryman always struck me as ideal for dogs - isn't it nice and easy for them to get in the back? Dog guard, and some sort of mat/ towel/ non-slip bedding for dog to lie on.

BlueKarou Tue 21-Jul-15 14:30:56

Sorry, had to nip out with FluffyDog for a lunchtime walk.

FluffyDog, 2 1/2 years, sits on the front seat. He has a harness with a front D ring which is attached to one of those car restraint things that plug in to a seatbelt.

PointyPup, 13 weeks, sits on the passenger seat behind me. He has a harness which attaches from the top/his back to a short lead thing, looks like just the handle of a lead and the clip, which is fastened to the regular seatbelt (which is plugged in) - sounds like what Floral has. As he grows out of his harness, and turns into a small, skinny horse, I'll reassess what works for him. Also am pregnant, so when baby comes the whole travel thing is going to have to be rearranged, so PointyPup might have to be moved to the boot.

BlueKarou Tue 21-Jul-15 14:32:14

PointyPup's harness is a little like this. It's not the exact same, but I attach the short lead bit to the chest strap of the seatbelt, and the clip in his harness.

mollie123 Tue 21-Jul-15 16:18:31

my lurcher uses a dog harness when with me in the car - it secures him to the seat belt in the back seat (fortunately the back seat is empty )- otherwise he would be hard pressed to fit in smile
it may not protect him in a bad crash but he is restrained, not likely to distract me and is so used to it now that unless I mention the word 'vet' he settles happily.
I always felt the boot even with padding would be uncomfortable as he is an old dog and ny car is not big enough for a crate to house him.
I also place an old dog bed in the back footwell so he can't slip off into there.

WeAllHaveWings Wed 22-Jul-15 00:06:42

Ours is in the boot, too muddy, wet, hairy, drooly to go in back seat. Also wouldn't like the idea of him potentially distracting driver if he was in the main bit of the car.

We had him in the main bit when he was 12 weeks old and he peed, pooed, then was sick and rolled in it getting it in footwell and front of seats while we were on motorway and couldn't stop for a couple of miles. Not pleasant.

Had to pay for professional valet to shift the smell. Boot is safer/fitted out for any problems.

MaitlandGirl Wed 22-Jul-15 06:00:57

We have a custom made cage in the boot (we've got a Hyundai Santa Fe) with a divider so when we get our puppy he can be next to our current dog but not annoy him too much.

We used to have the dogs attached to the luggage rings in the boot with ute clips (think they're called benching chains in the UK) clipped onto their harnesses but they're way too heavy for a papillon puppy.

nooka Wed 22-Jul-15 06:27:15

Our family dogs growing up were all trained to sit in the passenger foot well, and they mostly slept there during journeys. Slightly squeezy for the passenger (springer and collie).

Our dog usually sits in the middle of the bench seat of our truck or the back seat of our car. I did get him a harness that clipped into the seatbelt, but he could barely move with it so we only used it once or twice.

SmartAlecMetalGit Wed 22-Jul-15 12:09:36

If you use a harness in the car then it's a good idea to really research the one you're using. There are currently no standards for them and a large proportion are either only designed to stop the dog moving around freely (rather than protecting them/you in the event of a crash) or are described as being safety devices whilst not actually being fit for purpose.

If I was going to use a car harness the only one I'd consider would be the Sleepypod Clickit Utility harness, which scored well in tests run by the Centre for Pet Safety in the US and NRMA Insurance in Australia.I currently use a [[http://www.safedog.co.uk/index.htm SafeDog Variocage and it's absolutely brilliant, wouldn't be without it.

SmartAlecMetalGit Wed 22-Jul-15 12:10:06

Link fail there hmm

SafeDog Variocage

glentorres Thu 30-Jul-15 12:53:34

I'd definitely go with the dog guard. Not least because it keeps my muddy mutt off the clean seats. Not the cheapest, but certainly safer than the universal type of guards. Think they do boot mats too. www.travall.co.uk/

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