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Does My Pet Have to Wear a Seat Belt?

Pet crash testing image

Many dog owners love to take their pets along with them when they get in their car; whether it’s a short drive locally to the grocery store, or a longer trip.  Most dogs love to ride in the car too! Unfortunately, many owners don’t realize the dangers that exist for their unrestrained pet in an automobile.
No matter where you go with your pet, their safety is your responsibility and should always be a priority. Each year, thousands of pets are injured in vehicle accidents, because their owners allowed them to move freely about the vehicle or sit in their laps while they ride or drive. Just as many pets are lost after a car accident, while running from the vehicle because it is hurt or scared; or even worse, hit by an oncoming vehicle as they dart into the roadway because they were not safely restrained in their owner’s vehicle.


Keeping your pet safe is easier than you think. With a variety of options available from pet set belts to enclosed carriers to barrier systems for larger vehicles with storage decks; pet owners should be able to find something suitable to their needs.

  1. Dog Seatbelts – come in a variety of sizes and price ranges, and fit your dog comfortably and securely. These work especially well on small and toy breed dogs.
  2. Small Pet Crates – available in mesh, wire, or plastic versions, also work well with toy breeds and cats. An added benefit of a travel crate is that it provides a way to easily transport your pet in and out of the car.
  3. Pet Vehicle Barriers – provide a safe, small area for your dog to move around in while in a vehicle. These are designed primarily for SUVs, vans, jeeps and station wagons. This choice works best for large breed dogs who need more space and are too large for dog seatbelts.

Pet with safety beltPet with safety belt


Although pet automobile restraints are designed primarily as a means to keep your pet safe while traveling in an automobile, there are additional benefits to using them:

  1. Keeps your pet safe and secure while in a moving vehicle.
  2. Reduces distractions while you are driving.
  3. Allows other passengers to ride in comfort without having to deal with an anxious or excited pet jumping on them or across them.
  4. Allows driver to view their pet and communicate with them easily while driving, which helps reduce risk of an accident.
  5. For pets that do not like riding in the car, this will reduce the risk of your pet attempting to run away or refuse to enter the vehicle.
  6. In the case of an accident, it will be easier for you or someone else to retrieve your pet.
  7. Helps keep them safe from flying debris if you are involved in a serious accident.
  8. Allows your pet a place to sleep and move around safely for long trips.
  9. Easy to install, and come in a variety of sizes to fit almost all dogs.

Dog receiving medical care after car accident

The TIAA (Travel Industry Association of America) has reported that approximately 71 million dog owners in the U.S. take their pets with them when they travel, and that only about 20% of them restrain their pets when in their automobiles.

Thank you for helping us at Meadowlands Veterinary Hospital keep your pets safe on the road, for more information call us at 201-914-5096 or visit us at www.meadowlandsvethospital.com


By |July 12th, 2019|

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