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Hi, so I've been travelling in cars with Biscuit since he was a puppy. He's GREAT in cars. He just sits in his seat, and he never throws up or gets bored. However, I've been thinking that this is an unsafe way of travelling with him. He has no seatbelt or restraints of any sort, so if I came to an abrupt stop, he could be hurt. He's actually slid off the seat once or twice, and he was never hurt (I was only travelling 25 mph), but if I was going faster, it could have been bad. He's never been crated during a car ride, and I don't want to do that. He's not a huge fan of crating, but he is a huge fan of car rides, and I don't want to spoil that for him. How do you guys keep your dogs safe in the event of a crash? Any ideas for how I could keep Biscuit safe whilst simultaneously keeping the car fun?

Thanks!
 

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I don't use either for my dogs (I tried, my dog hated it) but both Ruffwear and Sleepypod offer harnesses that are crash test rated and approved. Both companies have videos about the rigorous testing both of these harnesses went through and why they are safer. They aren't cheap but the seem far safer then what other companies offer.

Sleepypod® Clickit Utility| Top performing Dog Harness | Dog Safety - Sleepypod® | The safest pet company | Dog Carrier | Cat Carrier | Dog Harness
Clickit Sport

Ruffwear Load Upâ„¢ Harness Vehicle Restraint Harness for Dogs
Ruffwear Load Up

I have tried the load up on my lab and she hated it. While she is not a fan of harnesses as is, she detested this one because of how low it went on her belly. She literally sat in the car and shock. Luckily I bought it off Amazon and was able to return it. It was really high quality material (like all of Ruffwear stuff) but just didn't work for her.
 

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As @jclark343 mentioned, there are actually very few harnesses that actually will protect/keep your dog secure in the event of a crash, so you should make sure to read the fine print.

I have an SUV, and my dogs just hang out in the back. I'm under no illusions that a sudden stop would be catastrophic for all of us.

This is my dream for my dogs.
 
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This is my dream for my dogs.
My dream as well! One of my teammates has one and it's awesome! Would not work with my current car and totally not in my budget (also I am pretty sure my dogs would hate it).
 

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A bunch of my flyball friends have those @Shandula


Aspen used to be free in my car. She was very good and never jumped around. When I got my new car (SUV), I started putting her in the way back because I didn't want her on my leather seats haha. When we started playing flyball, I started bringing her crate so she can hang out in that when it's not her turn. Now, I primarily travel with her crated. She hates harnesses so that would never be an option.
 

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Heidi would rather be locked in a crate for 10 hours a day than wear a harness. :eyeroll:
 
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3 of my dogs are in rough tuff kennels, another is in a custom metal kennel, and the fifth has a rufffwear load-up harness. All kennels are secured to the car using ratcheting straps.

Personally, I'd go the kennel route and put the training in to get them to love it.

If it's a smaller pup, you could look at the airpupsavers as well as the sleepypod or loadup harnesses.

At the least, I'd put up a secure barrier like the variobarrier. It won't help your pup much, but it should keep them from becoming a projectile and injuring you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you everyone for your responses. I would put him in a crate ideally, but he and I both know that's never going to happen. He loves to be free in the car, but he is small, and could get hurt. I think I'll probably invest in a Sleepypod harness that you gave a link to, @jclark343. I especially want to keep him safe and restrained in case of an accident. Does anyone think that a car-safety harness would keep him safer in a collision, or am I fooling myself?

Thanks!
 

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According to the crash test ratings not only would it keep him safe but it also would diminish the risk of him becoming a projectile and injuring a human in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Perfect. :)
 

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We have harnesses for our dogs, which I do think they help a lot. My husband used to let Sasha ride up front with him in his Jeep but after one quick stop where she fell off the seat, he never did that again. She does well in the backseat without a harness, but Baxter I need to harness him in. I have a small 4 door hatchback and he doesn't like car rides and will try to climb all over the seats. The dog car harness has been a great thing to have.
 
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My Aussie is obsessed with riding in vehicle since I take her to work with me. She can find my Dodge Dually we call "Big Truck" in the parking lot if I beep the horn with the key FOB. She can easily ssent it's diesel oder. I move the passenger seat back and she likes to curl up in the footwell. She will ride in the back seat but I think the ride is smoother in the front. I turn the passenger airbags off as they could really hurt a dog.

My Chevy El Camino is only two passenger and more car like than truck. Again she likes the footwell best. The AC has a vent there so it's nice and cool. She is very stable riding. On back roads she is on deer alert and is uncanny detecting deer I don't see.

I've got well over a million miles behind the wheel with out a crash or ticket and have been to a number of defensive driving classes. I drive as if in a war zone and everyone is out to " get" me. No stereo, no cell phone and no music box. Military teaches situation awareness so I practice it every mile.
 

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Personally I prefer crates to harnesses. I find my dogs tend to relax in them more, personally. Right now my setup will be 2 soft crates, one per dog, but I'm going to start saving for hard sided kennels (possibly RTK) for both. I also have an in-training dog during the school year that is required by the school to ride loose, so they'll likely go in behind the kennels with a dog bed. The kennels will be where the middle seats are (in a Rav4), with the seats down if they don't fit well and up if they fit like that.

I like that in a kennel the dog is more protected, IMO. I will add that outside of variocages, more kennels aren't going to actually hold up much in a crash, but if they're thrown from the vehicle or something at least they're contained.
 

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Hi, I'm Akila,
Sometimes I need to travel with my pet. But the problem is when he is in the car I can't control him. I have searched the internet on this problem I'm facing and found an awesome article yesterday! I'm glad to share it with you guys!

Here's the article - https://www.petcarriersandcrates.com/luxury-expandable-soft-sided-pet-carrier/

This is a really detailed article about an Expandable Pet Carrier.
Hope you will like it.

Thank you!
 

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When I looked into seatbelts vs crate systems a few months or more ago, I found several articles showing studies that show dogs bounce around and get hurt or killed in crates free flying in the crates and getting hurt inside. The pet restraint systems weren't shown to be safer either. My dog would chew through one in a minute.
So unless a lot has changed very recently what I read didn't justify the prices as there was either no benefit, slight benefit or actually increased harm with these restraint systems and strapping crates into seatbelts.
 

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Though my current dog has occasionally ridden free in the backseat of my car, the majority of the time, he rides in a hard-sided crate that's strapped to the seat with seat belts. Mostly that's because my last dog before this one was a car wanderer, which drove me nuts because I found it very distracting and I didn't think it was safe for me to drive while distracted. So, for everyone's sake, I crated him, which he actually didn't mind. Neither does my current dog. In fact, on the rare occasion when he's ridden free in the backseat, he has laid down precisely where his crate usually is and not moved. The first time he did that, he even paused and looked at me before he laid down as if he expected me to do something about the missing crate--or open an imaginary door to an invisible crate before he would lie down. He spends virtually no time at all in a crate outside of the car, unless we're at a trial or training somewhere where he needs to be crated while other dogs are running courses, but since he's ridden in a crate since the first day I had him, he regards it as normal.

I don't know what would happen in an accident, though I was told by someone that if broken glass were to fly around a car, being in a crate would at least offer protection from that, and I suppose that might be true. I was in an accident without the dog in the crate--I just don't typically bother to remove it unless I need the backseat clear for some reason, so the crate was there even though the dog wasn't with me--and though that side of the car was damaged to the point that the car was totaled, the rate actually didn't move that much and wasn't damaged (someone fell asleep behind the wheel, swerved into my lane, and would have hit me head on, had I not gotten my car pulled as hard to the right as I could before he hit me). The cops on the scene were initially concerned that I had a dog with me, though, and immediately asked if a dog was in the crate. They seemed relieved when I said no.
 
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