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Car journeys - how do dogs travel best?(11 Posts)
Our puppy is 12 weeks old and she's done a couple of car journeys - either in my lap on a towel or once when I was alone I put her on the front seat in a cardboard box with towel and toys. But I know these aren't great long term solutions!
She could go in her crate in the boot but pretty sure she will be distressed if she can't see me. So can anyone recommend a car seat/carrier? She's pretty small, 4 kilos. Will maybe grow to 10 kilos.
Mine sits in between the kids with a harness seatbelt. He won't tolerate the boot.
Legally dogs need to be restrained. Ddog loves her seat belt! Wilko £3.75 has 2 variations of buckle, clipped to collar and seat. Job done.
Oh yes I could try that thanks babyshark, got two car seats in the back but she could squeeze between them. Where did you get your seat harness?
Oh wow Aprilshowers I didn't know it was a legal requirement! Will check Wilko now, thanks.
Those are not only not sensible it is breaking Rule 57 of the Highway code, dogs (and other animals) have to be restrained when in the car to ensure they can’t distract or injure you - or themselves - while you are driving, during an emergency stop or when in an accident. I would look for a crash tested harness or crate that will keep them safe, the plastic clips on some harnesses might shatter with the force of a sudden stop so it is worth shopping around for a good one. My dogs travel in a SafeDog crate in the boot.
One morning doing the school run on foot I heard the most awful animal screaming I have ever heard. Looking around I saw a car up on the path with hazards on. The driver was an elderly man sobbing. The noise was coming from his Lurcher that had its head stuck in the partially opened window. He had 3 other ddogs with him all stressed and barking. One of them had stood on the electric window button and now it was jammed. On the ddog. The man was in bits. I flagged down a council truck and demanded they do something!! They pulled at the window and managed to get it down. That poor ddog was terrified. I suggested to the man he had a few mins to get himself together before he set off. He put the ddogs in the back. Omg that noise will stay with me. Have buckled my ddogs up ever since. It was about ten years ago but still remember it clearly.
Crate is safest if practical (isn't in some small cars).
Seat belts can be chewed though. Had a dog that did it. Very expensive.
We have a 5 month old pup, we tried having him on the back seats but even when restrained he would try his best to get in the front with us! and would get distressed being able to almost but not quite get to us.
We had no choice but to put him in the boot with a dog guard on so that it would not be dangerous... he loves it, much to our surprise.
It's his own little safe space and the moment the engine goes on, he is fast asleep. Probably helps that our dog walkers have the same setup. Because he has been doing it since he was about 3 months old, he feels safe and happy in there and will jump in on his own because he associates going in there with going for extra fun walks etc and I always give him a biscuit and tell him to sit while I close the boot. The same is true for my brothers two dogs.
I think you need to choose how to go about it and start soon. If you want a dog to be cool with something it's generally best you introduce them to it before 16weeks, 3 months was perfect for us as he was used to us and living with us by that time. The first couple of times I sat on the back seat so he could see me and I talked to him while my partner drove, just short trips. I put a couple of toys in there and something for him to chew on, we also have a waterproof doggy bootliner in there to stop him eating the car, he's a real chewer.
Dogs generally don't like sliding around, but they also like to be able to stretch and turn. A lot of this depends on the size of the dog. Smaller, lighter dogs may be happiest in a crate or "bucket" carrier. Larger dogs have a bit more inertia and can be happy on the back seat. It also depends how many regularly travel in the car.
With just the two of us plus Staffy, she has a car cover across the full width of the back seats and a harness clip that secures to an adult seatbelt in the back. If we regularly had another two humans in the back we'd have got her used to riding in the boot.
By the way... an absolutely genius thing for your car if your dog rides on the backseat is one of those childminder mirrors that lets the driver watch what's happening on the back seats. Comes as standard in some cars, but I'm sure someone will make an add-on version.
Thanks so much everybody. I've just bought a car seat enclosed carrier from Argos, think puppy will feel safe in there and I will feel safer knowing she is secure. Aprilshowers that is an absolute horror story about the screaming dog stuck in the window. Poor poor thing.