Should My Dog Be Restrained in the Car?

Summer is the season for road trips! An opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends, a road trip can be made even better by having your dog tag along. However, if your furry friend loves to ride shotgun and tries to climb into the front seat, this can lead to distracting and dangerous situations while driving. 

With a little preparation, you can keep your dog contained to the backseat and hopefully prevent any potential distractions, helping to keep you and your family (four-legged members included!) safe and sound. Ensuring that your dog is properly restrained in the backseat can also prevent them from being hurt in an accident. 

From crates and barriers to seatbelt attachments and calming products, there are a variety of products available to help keep your dog restrained and relaxed while in the car. 

Crates and Carriers 

Crates and carriers are not only great tools for keeping your dog contained to the backseat, but they can also provide them with a sense of security as you hit the road. Typically, the safest place for a small crate or carrier to be placed in the car is on the floor of the backseat behind the driver, but they can also be strapped to seats or secured in the back-hatch area of a vehicle. 


If you don’t want to worry about your pet sneaking into the front seat while you’re driving, barriers are very helpful. Attaching to the back of the front seats, your dog will be contained in the backseat. When installed, most barriers still offer enough room so that you can reach back and give your fur baby some scratches, so they don’t feel too isolated.  

Seatbelt Attachments 

Seatbelt tethers or harnesses can also keep your pet contained to the backseat and hopefully leave them feeling safer. Like a carrier, a seatbelt harness may also provide your pet with some added comfort as they’ll feel strapped in tight and protected.  

Calming Products 

Some pups may not enjoy embarking on a road trip as much as we do, and as pet parents we never want to see them stressed out and uncomfortable. If your dog is stressed out in the car, they may try even harder to climb into the front seat to be near you. To help them relax and prevent potentially dangerous situations while driving, consider using a calming product to ease their nerves. 

  • Thundershirts 

A great tool for easing your pet’s nerves while travelling, Thundershirts offer a dramatic calming effect which relieves anxiety in most dogs. The design produces a gentle, calming pressure when worn and requires no training at all – just place the Thundershirt on your dog and observe the results! 

  • Mellow Pet Spray 

For use on dogs, Mellow Pet Spray is an immediate response spray that delivers a calm, soothing effect. Containing several essential oils such as lavender and marjoram, this spray helps your dog relax in a variety of anxiety-inducing situations, such as travelling. The spray can be used either directly on the fur or a bandana tied around the neck and should be applied at least one hour before getting into the car.

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