Safe car travel with dogs

Most pets will travel in a car sooner or later – regardless of whether it’s only a speedy outing to the vets! But how can we ensure their safety in the car on the journey?

Kurgo, one of the leading dog travel companies, conducted a survey which revealed nearly half of UK drivers have admitted to having to brake suddenly or swerve, a potentially deadly manoeuvre, because they were distracted at the wheel. Surprisingly, the most common source of distraction was from within the car. With the holiday season approaching, research has highlighted that five out of six dog owners will bring along their dog for the holidays too.

Those travelling with a dog need to be extra careful as dogs can be awfully distracting in the car. In the survey, over half (55%) of dog owners admitted to being distracted whilst petting a dog in the car. Shockingly, only 28% of pet owners restrain their dog during car rides and only 9.9% are worried about distractions. In addition, restraining your dog will keep them away from dangerous holiday goodies like choking hazards caused by wrapping papers and ribbons as well as lethal food such as chocolate and raisins.

Distraction infographic by Kurgo

Kurgo gives some advice to ensure safe car travel for dogs:

  • Restrain your dog in the car – they feel safer and calmer in the car
  • Use a secure booster seat for smaller dogs – everyone likes to see where they are going
  • Don’t be tempted to play, pet or feed your dog while driving, reassuring talk is all that is needed
  • Use a barrier between the front seat to restrict movement – a fabric barrier is easier to fit than a hard metal grid
  • Use a dog hammock if your dog is in the back seat – it not only protects your seats but stops him falling into the footwell and possible injury
  • Cover your seats in doggie durable, waterproof covers, saves wear and tear of the car and means less cleaning

So this season, even though 33.4% of dog owners don’t think their calm dog needs a restraint, someone else can still cause the accident. Consider the extra safety when travelling with your pup. All of the products highlighted in this article can be purchased from

Product information

1. Heather Booster Seat

Give your dog his own comfortable car seat where he can see out the window with the stylish, heathered fabric version of Kurgo’s award-winning booster seat. The Heather Booster gets your dog off your lap so he can’t interfere with your driving.

  • Holds up to 13kg
  • 30.5cm (D) x 40.5cm (W) x 20cm (H)
  • Secures to any bucket seat in your car
  • Recommend for use with the Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Smart Harness
  • Machine washable padded liner
Heather Booster Seat

2. Heather Bench Seat Cover

Update the look and protect your car interior with our stylish heather pattern. Double-stitched seams provide for longer wear and piped edges help to retain dirt. Five attachment points keep it from sliding around like other seat covers.

  • Waterproof, stain-resistant and machine washable
  • Fits bench seats up to 1.4m (W)
  • Hook and loop openings allow use of seatbelts, pet restraints, and child car seat latches
  • Two large pockets for extra storage

Heather Bench Seat Cover


3. Direct to Seatbelt Tether

There’s no need to undo the seatbelt every time your dog gets in or out. Simply click the Direct to Seatbelt tether into the female slot of a seatbelt then attach the carabiner to your dog’s harness.

  • Fits most vehicles (not recommended for Volvo)
  • Tether extends from 38cm to 56cm for a broader range of movement
Direct to Seatbelt Tether

4. Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Smart Harness

The Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Smart Harness design is based on the engineering used for rock climbing harnesses and features all steel nesting buckles. It’s built for car safety but can be used as an everyday walking harness as well.

  • Crash tested for dogs up to 34kg at an accredited National Highway Traffic Safety Administration facility
  • Included 25cm seatbelt tether works with any car seatbelt system
  • Five adjustment points for a perfect fit
  • Comfortable enough to be used as a walking harness
  • Available in sizes XS- XL
  • Also available in Red
 Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Smart Harness is an e-commerce website owned by Pet Subjects Ltd which also owns magazine titles Dogs Monthly and Dogs Today.


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