It may seem odd to want to put a seat belt or safety harness on your pet when you bring them with you in the car, but it can possibly save their life, and yours. Most of the time, we are talking about dogs, but it is also a good idea to restrain your cat (or any other type of animal) too. In this article, we’ll look at different ways you can keep your pet safe(r) than when they are free to roam your car.

Pet Cages, Crates, or Carriers for Cars

There are many types of crates or cages that you can use to transport your furry friends. But some may be better than others, especially if you are involved in an accident. Some crates or cages are flexible. They may be collapsible, which makes them more convenient for storage.  However, these types of crates can be very hazardous for your pets, even when you are not in an accident. During regular driving, these flexible crates can collapse. They may also easily tip over, as they are very light. Therefore, it is recommended that you use a sturdy, heavy crate for safer transportation.

Heavy crates are usually made of thick gauge plastics, metal, or even wood. Since they are heavier, they are less likely to tip when making sharp turns. Also, this type of crate or cage is usually physically larger and therefore is less likely to harm other passengers in your car if there was a collision. This is because the cage would likely not fly through the car in the event of a sudden stop. When a car comes to a sudden stop, pets become projectiles. Not only are they likely to be harmed or killed when this happens, animals, especially larger ones, can cause great injury or even death to the driver or other passengers. Smaller crates or collapsible crates may easily become airborne and fly to the front of the car.

Safety Harnesses

A safety harness is a great idea, especially for larger dogs.  Since you can’t really use a regular seatbelt to restrain your dog (have fun trying), it’s best to use a special harness, designed to fit around your dog snuggly and connect to the seatbelt.  Some harnesses include an adjustable elastic section of the belt that allows the dog to move around a little more, but would help to protect them in an accident.

The price for these harnesses ranges from about $8 to $50 (or more).  However, I highly recommend making this investment in the safety of your pet (and you).  Be aware that if you get into an accident and you are going about 50 miles per hour, your 10-pound dog now becomes a projectile with 500 pounds of force.  A dog that is 80 pounds in an accident as slow as 30 miles per hour becomes the equivalent to 2400 pounds of force.

If you love your pets, and I’m sure you do, be safe and use the proper car carrier or safety harness. You may save the life of your pet or even your own.

Written by Gary Pradel